50 faces who shaped and mis-shaped learning Why no heroes? Can you name a recent Nobel Prize winner in learning theory? As someone new to the learning industry 25 years ago, I was surprised to find that most practitioners in learning (teachers, lecturers and trainers) knew little about the history of learning or the psychology of learning, and had done almost no in-depth reading on the subject. Despite education and training‟s central role in society, its intellectual heroes have low visibility. Few can name more than a handful of candidates for the Hall of Fame. Unlike sport, politics, philosophy, literature, music, painting, film, business or science, learning practitioners have a sketchy idea of the contributions and theories of their intellectual leaders, past and present. Most physicists know of Newton, Einstein and Hawking. Most artists know of Michelangelo, Rembrandt and Picasso. Most musicians know of Beethoven, Mozart and the Beatles. Most engineers know of Watt, Brunel and Telford. Businessmen know of Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford and Bill Gates. Even criminals would know of Guy Fawkes, Jack the Ripper and the Boston Strangler. Yet most learning professionals have at best a sketchy idea of learning theory and the minds that have shaped this theory, and practice. We have no heroes and a rather scrappy history. (answer to first question is Eric Kandel) Progress? In the history of learning, we find that learning is doomed, not so much to repeat itself, but to remain stuck in an ancient groove, that of simple lectures and classroom learning. This is still the dominant method of delivery, yet there is little or no evidence to show that it is effective. In fact, almost everything in the theory and psychology of learning tells us that it is wrong to rely so heavily on this single method of delivery. The history of learning theory has had to be largely ignored to accommodate this lazy approach to practice. It has been willingly ignored to protect, not learners, but the bad habits of those who teach. We have seen no real progress in teaching for nearly a thousand years. In fact one could argue, for nearly 2,500 years, as Socrates at least had some idea of how to stimulate young minds through inquiry. Old theory and practice There is the old and misguided theory, which at times has simply been hanging around for fifty years or more, embedded like fossils in educational institutions or „train the trainer‟ courses. This includes basic behaviourism from Skinner, an outdated taxonomy from Bloom, an over-simplistic instructional theory from Gagne, another simplistic and irrelevant theory from Maslow, an overemphasis on therapy culture from Rogers, and an outdated theory of evaluation from Kirkpatrick. Much of what passes for theory has become embedded in real practice holding back progress. The past haunts learning as its ghosts hang around and get embedded in „teacher training‟ or „train the trainer‟ courses. Faddish theory and practice Even worse is the plethora of truly faddish and non-empirical theory and practice that pervades the learning world. This includes; learning styles, the Mozart Effect, L/R brain theory and NLP. Most of this theory and practice has no scientific or validated background. They have simply taken root through the marketing campaigns of those who sell the courses. Ignored theory and practice On the other hand, theorists who have uncovered the importance of „learning by doing, such as James, Dewey, Kolb and Shank, have been largely ignored by a system that values declarative knowledge over the ability to do things, despite the fact that the greatest need is in the latter sphere. Ignored scientific theory and practice As we have come to study the mind through psychology, from the late 19th century, this science has enlightened us on motivation, memory, primacy, attention, recency and many other attributes we need to know of to deliver of efficient learning. Yet learning practice is surprisingly divorced from this theory. Basic proven ideas such as reinforcement and spaced practice, explored and confirmed over a century ago, are still largely ignored. Despite 120 years of consistent research from Ebbinghaus onwards we‟re still largely ignoring the basic principles of why and how reinforcement works through designed spaced practice to embed knowledge and skills. This is the equivalent of an engineer building bridges without any knowledge or application of the basic laws of physics. The solid science on psychological attention, cognitive overload and memory theory goes largely ignored. Education and training seems immune from the simple science that underpins learning. The psychology of learning is ignored in favour of flavour of the day practices. Why read this book? This project started when I realised that I had to have some sure foundations for my own practice in the field, so I embarked on a programme of critical reading at Epic, which, over 25 years took me through the entire sweep of learning theory, covering over two thousand years. I have always found it useful to take notes when I read and this book is a result of this consistent note taking. Note that this is, at times, a critical work. I read this stuff to learn, not to simply précis texts. The history of learning theory and practice has not proceeded in an orderly fashion, like science. Like a river delta, there‟s a rough sense of direction and progress, with lots of tributaries, some run dry, other run into other tributaries, some switch back and so on. It proceeds by fits and starts. In an effort to explain our predecessors, warts and all, this series of portraits will take look at the people who shaped learning theory and practice over the centuries. They have all played a role in shaping (some mis-shaping) the learning landscape. Our theorists are major thinkers who have reflected on the large-scale issues around learning and education. The practitioners have more direct relevance, as their advice is wholly relevant to the design of e-learning programmes. The format is simple. I have presented fifty major shapers and movers in learning, clustering them under headings. They are by no means the only people who have contributed to the field, but they‟re a pretty representative group. I have taken a particular tack in these pen portraits, examining their relevance to the future of learning. Contents Theory Practice E-learning GREEKS CONSTRUCTIVISTS USABILITY & EVALUATION Socrates Piaget Norman Plato Bruner Nielsen Aristotle Vygotsky Krug ENLIGHTENMENT TAXONOMISTS EVALUATION Locke Bloom Kirkpatrick Rousseau Biggs Bateson MEDIA & DESIGN PRAGMATISTS Belbin Mayer & Clark James Reeves & Nass Dewey INSTRUCTIONALISTS Ebbinghaus INFORMAL LEARNING MARXISTS Gagne Cross Marx Mager Csikszentmihalyi Gramsci Althusser EXPERIENTIALIST INTERNET LEARNING Kolb Page & Brin BEHAVIOURISTS Schank Bezos Pavlov Hurley & Chen Skinner TECHNOLOGY Bandura ANALYSTS INTERNET CONTENT McLuhan Sperling HUMANISTS Postman Wales Maslow Rogers GAMES Illich Prensky Gardener Gee Greeks We may not know it, but our education system has been shaped by figures that lived over two thousand years ago. Teachers and trainers still talk of the Socratic method, although they rarely have much of a grasp of what it really involved. Plato and Aristotle live on in schools through the classical ideals, originally enshrined in Victorian schools, and still common in modern educational practice. They set the pace for education and learning in the Western tradition, with their emphasis on a rounded education through the Greek ideal of excellence in „mind and body‟. The modern University has its precursors in Plato‟s Academy and Aristotle‟s Lyceum. Socrates (469-399 BC) Most professionals in learning will have heard of the „Socratic method‟. Fewer will know that he never wrote a single word describing this method. Fewer still will know that the method is not what it is commonly represented to be, and even fewer may know that he was one of the few teachers who actually died for his craft, executed by the Athenian authorities for supposedly corrupting the young. How many have read the Socratic dialogues? How many know what he meant by his method and how he practised his approach? Socrates, in fact, wrote absolutely nothing. It was Plato and Xenophon who record his thoughts and methods through the lens of their own beliefs. We must remember, therefore, that Socrates is in fact a mouthpiece for the views of others. In fact the two pictures painted of Socrates by these two commentators differ hugely. In the Platonic Dialogues he is witty, playful and a great philosophical theorist, in Xenophon he is a dull moraliser. Socratic method The idea that Socrates was an intellectual midwife to people‟s own thoughts is his great educational principle. His mother was indeed a midwife but he was among the first to recognise that, in terms of learning, ideas are best generated from the learner in terms of understanding and retention. Education is not a cramming in, but a drawing out. What is less well known is the negative side of the Socratic method. He loved to pick intellectual fights and the method was not so much a gentle teasing out of ideas, more the brutal exposure of falsehoods. He was described by one of his victims as a „predator which numbs its victims with an electric charge before darting in for the kill‟. He even describes himself as a „gadfly, stinging the sluggish horse of Athens to life‟. He was roundly ridiculed in public drama, notably by his contemporary, Aristophanes in Clouds, where he uses the Socratic method to explore idiotic ideas using petty hair- splitting logic. This negative side of Socrates is well described by Woodbridge in The Son of Apollo, „Flattery, cajolery, insinuation, innuendo, sarcasm, feigned humility, personal idiosyncrasies, browbeating, insolence, anger, changing the subject when in difficulties, faulty analogies, telling stories which make one forget what the subject of the discussion was. His great joy was simply pulling people and ideas to pieces. Socratic philosophy of education Beyond the famous Socratic method, he did have a philosophy of education. It included several principles: 1. Knowledge and learning as a noble pursuit 2. Learning as a social activity pursued through dialogue 3. Questions lie at the heart of learning to draw out what they already know, rather than imposing pre-determined views 4. Learning must be pursued with a ruthless intellectual honesty In practice, these noble aims were marred by a spitefulness. He would claim that he taught nothing as he had nothing to teach, but this conceals his true desire to overcome and intellectually destroy his opponents. Conclusion If we were to behave like Socrates in the modern school, college, university or training room, we‟d be in front of several tribunals for bullying, not sticking to the curriculum and failing to prepare students for their exams. Not to mention his pederasty. (We can perhaps put this to one side as a feature of the age!) So think again when you use the phrase „Socratic method‟ it‟s not what it seems. His lasting influence is the useful idea, that for certain types of learning, questioning and dialogue allows the learner to generate their own ideas and conclusions, rather than be spoon-fed. This has transformed itself into the idea of discovery learning, but there have been severe doubts expressed about taking this method too far. We wouldn‟t want our children to discover how to cross the road by pushing them out between parked cars! Bibliography Plato, The Collected Dialogues of Plato, E Hamilton, Princeton. (Thaetetus is the key dialogue on the search for knowledge.) Plato, The Last Days of Socrates, Penguin Classics (trial and condemnation) Aristophanes The Clouds, Penguin Classics (satire of Socrates) Ferguson J (1970) Socrates, Macmillan (excellent source book) Woodbridge F (1929) The Son of Apollo, Boston (good commentary) Plato (428-348 BC) It is through Plato that we know Socrates, but Plato is no mere mouthpiece. All western philosophy has been described as „footnotes to Plato‟. Like Socrates, he believed in the power of questioning as a method of teaching. Indeed, his dialogues do not feature Plato himself. They illustrate by example his view that the learners must learn to think for themselves through dialogue. But he was a direct and detailed commentator in his utopian vision of education in The Republic and The Laws. Plato’s Academy Plato‟s Academy is thought by many to have been the first University. He founded The Academy in 387 B.C. a philosophical school that became very famous due to the Neoplatonists, and remained in use until A.D. 526, when it was finally closed down by emperor Justinian. Having run for 900 years it rivals any current western university for longevity. Above its door were the words Let no one unversed in geometry enter here, and he did see mathematics as important training for the mind, along with the idea of proof and clear hypotheses. Educational utopia It is in The Republic and The Laws, Plato‟s description of his utopia, that we hear most about his views on education. Indeed, his views are laid down in these texts in exacting detail. Plato‟s political utopia would have few followers today, except among dictators and oligarchs. His views on education, however, have some lasting value. The Greek ideal of body and mind is seen in an educational context with a structured approach to education across one‟s entire lifetime. School, he proposes, should start at six with the basic skills of rearing, writing and arithmetic. He recommends censoring fiction at this age, especially poetry and drama, arguing that they can cloud a child‟s mind and reduce their ability to make judgments and deal with the real world. He also thought that they may be tempted to emulate some of the immoral behaviour in such texts. More than this, he thought that fiction could lead to self-deception giving learners a false-sense of themselves. A strict curriculum is recommended in early years. The educational system should also be designed to determine the abilities of individuals and training provided to apply to the strengths of their abilities. In other words, a severe form of streaming. Music and sports should then be brought into the curriculum with more serious attention paid to military training at the age of 18. At 21, higher educational goals are introduced, with philosophy at 30. It is only at the age of 50 that the educated person should be allowed to rule – the philosopher king. We must remember that Plato does don‟t see this as education for all, merely a minority destined to rule. On the other hand, his appreciation that people learn differently over time has been taken up by those who see „andragogy‟ as a theoretical construct. He does see the mind developing over time with age as an important factor in education. There is also a sense of lifelong learning. Conclusion Plato‟s lasting contribution to educational theory probably lies in his writing of the Socratic dialogues, however these represent both the thoughts of Socrates as well as his own ideas. As well as promoting mathematics as a foundation skill he founded a great Academy, the forerunner of the modern University. Theoretically, he mapped out a developmental educational theory that rested on the Greek ideal of mind and body but saw education as developing at different ages. His ideas were to be revived by the humanists during the Renaissance. Bibliography Plato (1955) The Republic, London: Penguin (translated by H. P. D. Lee). Hare, R. M. (1989) Plato, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Succinct introduction. Aristotle (384-322 BC) Aristotle is in some ways a more important educational theorist and philosopher than Socrates. His work has resonated down the ages and although we have only fragments from his book On Education, we have enough secondary evidence to piece together his theories on the subject. As a counter to Plato‟s love of reason, Aristotle introduced a more empirical approach to theory and learning and more emphasis on the physical sciences. Much of his science is wrong but he set us on a path towards investigation, and observation that would prove to be a positive legacy over the last 2000 years. Greek ideal He was a proponent of the Greek ideal of an all-round education. A balance of activities that train both mind and body including debate, music, science, philosophy had to be combined with physical development and training. This ideal has had a profound influence on the West‟s idea of education and schooling. Modern schools and universities have this classical ideal as their core values. Practice as well as theory Despite his position as one of the World‟s greatest intellectuals and philosophers, he showed great concern for practical and technical education, in addition to contemplation. He would be genuinely puzzled by our system‟s emphasis on theory rather than practice. Learning by doing was a fundamental issue in his theory of learning. 'Anything that we have to learn to do we learn by the actual doing of it...‟ he says, echoing with many a modern theorist. This is not to forget theory and theorising, only to recognise that education needs to be habitually reinforced through practice. Education was for Aristotle a fundamental activity in life. „Better a philosopher unsatisfied, than a pig satisfied‟ to quote his peer and contemporary, Plato. And this philosophical view of education is one of his main concerns. Education is not the mere transmission of knowledge, it is a preparation for participation in a fulfilled life that reflects and acts on ethical and political grounds. Its as much about rights than getting things right. Conclusion The schism between Plato and Aristotle, theory and practice, teaching and research, lives on in our Universities. Aristotle, in the western tradition was the first to break with philosophical reasoning as the primary approach to education. However, his theories also gave rise to scholasticism that was to send the search for knowledge and education into more than a millennium of decline. It wasn‟t until the Renaissance and subsequent Enlightenment that recovery was possible. Nevertheless, Aristotle remains a towering figure and we have somehow recovered components of the Greek ideal through the Renaissance recovery to build educational systems that recognise that legacy. Bibliography Aristotle The Nicomachean Ethics, London: Penguin. (The most recent edition is 1976 - with an introduction by Barnes). Aristotle The Politics (A treatise on government), London: Penguin. Barnes, J. (1982) Aristotle, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Good introduction. Jaeger, W. W. (1948) Aristotle, Oxford: Oxford University Press. The authoritative text. Empiricists and romantics Locke in the 17th century and Rousseau in the 18th century were to change the history of human thought, not always, some would claim, for the better. Locke was the practical, British empiricist who wrote a highly influential manual on education, which still contains much good sense. Rousseau was the wild French romantic, who expressed his thoughts on education in the form of a novel, Emile. Both shared a concern for the learner as an individual who needs to be motivated to learn. Locke (1632-1704) John Locke remains was the greatest philosopher of his age and laid the foundations for empiricism and the enlightenment view of knowledge, politics and education. Breaking free from medieval scholasticism, and disaffected by the educational habits of his day, he put forward a sophisticated theory of education built, not around the transmission of information, but the shaping of habits and character around wisdom and virtue. These theories, grounded in his liberal, political philosophy, are written in Some Thoughts Concerning Education (1692). The book was widely translated and became a manual for education among the upper classes for most of 18th century. Some Thoughts Concerning Education (1692) The book is a series of very practical methods for encouraging good habits and character right down to details on curiosity, games, language learning, dancing etc. He recommends educational methods that focus on example and practice, rather than the teaching of information and principles. In this sense, it is not learning that matters, but the establishment of good habits. It is repeated practice that instils these worthy behaviours so that they become instinctive. The concrete rather than the abstract is recommended for the reinforcement of such good habits. The learner must not be coerced into learning but made to feel as if it is in their own interest, and that they are acting from their own free will. Not that children should be spoilt. For those of a vocational bent he recommends practical skills and understanding. Beyond this, his focus is on a healthy mind that has the basics in reading, writing, arithmetic, a knowledge of literature along with the natural and social sciences. But not the arts, which he regarded as either useless or dangerous. Detailed scholarly study should be left to those who want to become scholars. He does not recommend school for those who can afford tutors, and sets great store on the enthusiasm of parents, and the family in general. Schools, he thought, merely perpetuate bad company and bad habits of behaviour. A child is a member of both a family and nation with the individual having the right to life and liberty. It is the idea of a free mind, that uses the power of reason to become contributory, autonomous adults in a free society that mark out this educational theory based on political belief. Conclusion It is the sweeping scope of his thinking that impresses, couching education in a political and epistemological theory that was to have a profound influence in the world. His thoughts on education, although influential, are weakened by the fact that he saw the mind as a blank slate. He was also a product of the age making a massive distinction between the education of Gentlemen and the masses. However, his observations and general views on education point towards a tradition that focused on character and autonomy within society, rather than the transmission of knowledge. Bibliography Aaron, R. (1971). John Locke. Oxford: The Oxford University Press Cranston, M. (1969). John Locke (rev. ed. Green and Co., Ltd. London: Longmans Deighton, L.C. (Ed.) (1971). The encyclopedia of education, volume 6. New York: The Macmillan Company and the Free Press. John Locke, Some Thoughts Concerning Education and of the Conduct of the Understanding, ed. by Ruth W. Grant and Nathan Tarcov (Hackett, 1996) Tarcov, N. (1984). Locke's education for liberty. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. Yolton, J. W. (1968). John Locke and the way of ideas. Oxford: The Oxford University Press Rousseau (1712-1778) Jean Jaques Rousseau was a philosopher who wrote extensively on education, including a major novel „Emile‟, still arguably the most important novel on education ever written. His contribution to political thought through The Social Contract and aesthetics through The Reveries were even more profound. As an exponent of The Noble Savage he saw civilisation as a corrupting influence, creating inequalities and conflict. His educational theories are an attempt to avoid such corruption within the mind of essentially good human beings. Emile With a passing nod to Locke in the preface he states his intention to build a complete theory of education from the point of view of the learner. Emile grows from a boy to a man and Rousseau tracks his inner natural growth, matched by education appropriate to these natural stages of development. It is the learner that matters and the learner who develops in a natural fashion, not shaped by teachers but growing in response to appropriate opportunities for development. The book develops over five sections The first two are about giving the child freedom to explore and drink from his/her senses as their ability to attend to serious learning is absent and when forced is counterproductive. It is only at around 12 that the education of the mind should become a concern. From 12-15 the child can attend to matters of the mind. From 15-20 we are born again as we develop naturally into adults. This time of turbulent emotion allows us to learn about conflict, morals and religion. There is a gradual introduction into the ways of the world and wider society, but it is between 20-25 that society must be seriously introduced. Here Emile meets Sophie, who he will marry. Rousseau takes this opportunity to draw differences between the education of men and women, based on his belief that the two sexes are naturally different. Educational principles Education comes from nature, men and things, these are our three masters and nature is the most important. The child, naturally good, needs simple freedom and not rushed into inappropriate or unnatural educational activity. Play and self-reliance are important. From then on, each stage of natural development needs appropriate and personal education. Learning must be appropriately matched to age. The focus is on motivation, first through restlessness, then curiosity and later goals. People do not need to be taught in a traditional sense; they need to be exposed to problems and come to their own conclusions. Conclusion Rousseau's legacy has been profound but problematic. Having encouraged the idea of romantic naturalism and the idea of the noble and good child, that merely needs to be nurtured in the right way through discovery learning, he paints an over-romantic picture of education as natural development. The Rousseau legacy is the idea that all of our educational ills come from the domineering effect of society and its institutional approach to educational development. If we are allowed to develop naturally, he claims, all will be well. This over-romantic view of human development, although not without truth, lacks psychological depth. Emile, as Althusser claims, now reads like a fictional utopia. Bibliography Rousseau, J-J. (1762) Émile, London: Penguin. Rousseau, J-J (1762) The Social Contract, London: Penguin. (1953 edn.) Translated and introduced by Maurice Cranston. Rousseau, J-J (1755) A Discourse on Inequality. Translated with an introduction by M. Cranston (1984 edn.), London: Penguin. Rousseau, J-J (1755) A Discourse on Political Economy. Available as part of The Social Contract and Discourses, London: Everyman/Dent. Rousseau, J-J (1782) The Confessions of Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1953 edn.), London: Penguin. Rousseau, J-J (1782) Reveries of the Solitary Walker. Translated with an introduction by P. France, London: Penguin. Boyd, W. (1956) Émile for Today. The Émile of Jean Jaques Rousseau selected, translated and interpreted by William Boyd, London: Heinemann. Pragmatists It was in the US that a fresh scientific, psychological and pragmatic approach to educational theory was to emerge. The pragmatists James and Dewey were to introduce and emphasise psychology as the springboard for reflection on learning. They were also to push the importance of action, through „learning by doing‟. Their practical theories were to have practical reach, and to this day they remain central to modern thought on educational theory. James (1842-1910) William James is widely regarded as the father of modern psychology. His The Principles of Psychology (1890) set the tone for future inquiry into the mind, establishing psychology as a separate discipline; the scientific study of the mind. Grounded in his philosophical theory of pragmatism, James‟s theories emphasised the consequences of one‟s actions, rather than pure theoretical speculation. Learning by doing Like Locke, he wrote a practical book Talks to Teachers (1899), originally a series of lectures, giving practical advice to teachers. The difference is that psychology had now become, through his efforts, a science, and its principles could be used in educational theory. It was here that he put forward his now famous theory on learning by doing. This was to heavily influence John Dewey, and the future of educational theory through to Kolb and others. The book doesn‟t pretend to have all the answers, as psychology is a science; teaching an art. But some psychological principles are clear. Education is, above all, the organization of acquired habits of conduct and tendencies to behaviour. Children should not be expected to learn by rote. Their experiences must be turned into useful and habitual behaviour through action. The learner must listen, but then take notes, experiment, write essays, measure, consult and apply. He recommends learning through work and the creation of real things or dealings with real people in a shop, to give you educational experiences beyond mere theory. He was in fact a firm advocate of vocationally oriented schools and work-based learning (relevant today or not?). The supervision of the acquisition of habit is another of his principles. Habit is the enormous flywheel of society, and should be exercised until securely rooted. The result of almost all learning is this habitual behaviour. Association, interest, attention, will and motivation; these are James‟s driving forces in education. In addition there‟s memory, curiosity, emulation, constructiveness, pride, fear and love - all impulses that must be turned to good use. This is not to say that he favoured a lazy, or what he called „soft pedagogics‟. He recognized that learning was sometimes hard, even arduous. Conclusion William James proved to be a turning point in the history of both psychology and educational theory. He set both off in a more orderly fashion, introducing the scientific study of the mind as applied to learning. This has since proved to be by far the most fruitful approach to education and learning theory. In particular, his emphasis on learning by doing still reverberates through Dewey, Kolb and others. Bibliography Myers, G (Editor). William James: Writings 1878-1899, Library of America Myers, G (Editor). William James: Writings 1902-1910, Library of America James, William. (1899) Talks to Teachers James, William. (1899) The Principles of Psychology James, William. (1899) Pragmatism Putnam, Hilary. (1995) Pragmatism: An Open Question, Blackwell Dewey (1859 - 1952) John Dewey, like Socrates, was a philosopher first and educational theorist second, and like Socrates, his progressive educational theory has been simplified to the level of caricature. It is often assumed that he favoured an extreme version of discovery learning. This was not in fact the case. As a philosopher he was what is called a „pragmatist‟, a school of philosophy that emerged from Pierce and James in the 19th century. His reflections on the nature of knowledge, experience and communication, combined with his views of democracy and community, led to an educational theory that started with a broad based vision of what education should be, an identification of educational methods, then a pragmatic view of its implementation. He practised what he preached through his own Laboratory School. Problem based learning He is best known for his problem-solving approach to learning. All learning is experienced by the learner but according to Dewey, exposure to certain types of learning experiences are more important than others. Schools His focus on schools was almost obsessive, however, he was refreshingly honest about their limitations. He saw schools as only one means of learning, „and compared with other agencies, a relatively superficial means‟. In fact, he was keen to break down the boundaries of school, seeing them as a community within a community. Those involved in the modern debate about a more active role for schools in their community can benefit from a re-reading of Dewey. Schools should create learning opportunities by engaging in occupational activities, as practised by the rest of society. That schools had become divorced from society was one of his basic claims. In his model school, the students planted wheat and cotton, processed and transported it for sale to market. Conclusion Dewey spoke out against communism as well as the right-wing threat in US politics, including what he saw as reactionary Catholicism. A recent reappraisal sees him as a typical American liberal believing in a secular approach to education and reform in education, moving it beyond the limitations of traditional „schooling‟. More importantly for our purposes, experiential learning through Kolb and others had its origins in Dewey. His views on schools and how they relate to a modern, democratic society are also of lasting interest. Unfortunately, he has been interpreted as an evangelist for „discovery-learning‟ widely regarded as a flawed model when not supplemented with alterative strategies. Bibliography Dewey, J. (1916) Democracy and Education. An introduction to the philosophy of education (1966 edn.), New York: Free Press. Dewey, J. (1933) How We Think. A restatement of the relation of reflective thinking to the educative process (Revised edn.), Boston: D. C. Heath. Dewey, J. (1938) Experience and Education, New York: Collier Books. (Collier edition first published 1963). Dewey, J. (1929) Experience and Nature, New York: Dover. (Dover edition first published in 1958). Campbell, J. (1995) Understanding John Dewey. Nature and co-operative intelligence, Chicago: Open Court. Ryan, A. (1995) John Dewey and the High Tide of American Liberalism, New York: W. W. Norton. Marx and Marxists Marx, and Marxist theories of education, have had a profound effect on education. Although Marx did not theorise about education in any detailed manner, his followers developed theories about the role of education in society that were to affect billions of people across the globe. There are many Marxist theorists in education, but two stand out as Marxist in the literal sense – Gramsci and Althusser. These two, more than any others, developed theories that derive from Marx, but developed into full sociological analyses defining the role of education in society, along with ideas on how to change that role in line with the Marxist refrain that the point of theory was not to describe the world, but to change it. Marx (1818-1883) Although Karl Marx wrote nothing directly on education, his influence on learning theory and practice has been profound. It was Marxism that underpinned the entire communist world‟s view of learning in the 20th century, especially through Marxist theorists such as Gramsci and Althusser. The Cultural Revolution in China between 1949 and 1966 was unleashed with devastating consequences in the education system and to this day Marxism persists in educational and learning theory, most notably in the social constructivism of Vygotsky, Luria and Leontyev. Education the result of economic structures As Marx believed that our very consciousness, as well as all of our theorising and institutions, were the result of basic economic structures, education is seen as the result of existing class structures. In practice, this means that the ruling class controls and determines educational theory, policy and institutional development. Dialectical materialism was the manifestation of struggles between groups within society. It was this idea that led to the persecution of intellectuals in many Marxist states, who were seen as belonging to the wrong group. Gramsci and Althusser It was left to later Marxists to expand Marx‟s theories into working models that relate to knowledge, intellectual development and education. Antonio Gramsci developed these ideas further through ideas such as "ideological hegemony". The ruling class determines what passes as knowledge or truth. Louis Althusser developed this further exploring the way in which the media and other institutions become the ideological state apparatus. Class structures determine knowledge and the means by which knowledge is transmitted, distributed and taught. These ideas were to literally shape education for a large part of the twentieth century across many countries. Social constructivism Marx is still having a profound influence on educational theory today through social constructivist theory. The resurrection of Vygotsky has led to strong beliefs and practices around the role of the teachers and collaborative learning and the belief that language lies at the heart of educational problems. We no longer have Marxist ideology shaping education, but we do have the ideas dressed up in sociology and social psychology. More of this later under Vygotsky. Conclusion We are still living with a hangover of Marxist theory in education, especially through social constructivist theories. On the whole this has been destructive, creating an atmosphere of suspicion around any form of truth and authority, driven by ideological certainty. However, Marxism is far from dead and the Marxist idea that everything becomes commoditised, including knowledge and education, is useful in combating the excesses of education and training aimed merely at increasing productivity. On the positive side, the Victorian democratisation of education, that arose from the industrial revolution, was transformed by Marxist and socialist ideas into a movement that pushed for education as the right for every citizen. This struggle is still raging as attempts are made to widen access to education and higher education across all socio- economic groups. Bibliography Karl Marx, The Portable Karl Marx, ed. by Eugene Kamenka (Viking, 1983) Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto, ed. by Frederic L. Bender (Norton, 1988) Karl Marx, Early Writings, tr. by Rodney Livingstone (Penguin, 1992) Karl Marx, Capital: A Critique of Political Economy, tr. by Ben Fowkes (Penguin, 1992) Terry Eagleton, Marx (Routledge, 1999) Francis Wheen, Karl Marx (Fourth Estate 1999) Gramsci (1891-1937) In 32 notebooks, written over 11 years in an Italian prison, Antonio Gramsci wasn‟t published in English until the 70s. If you hear the word „hegemony‟ it‟s likely to have come from someone who has read, or just as likely not read but is unknowingly quoting, Gramsci. Informal education along with defined roles of for intellectuals and redefining schools, are all main themes for Gramsci. He was a Marxist who looked at cultural and ideological forces in society. He took Marxism and updated its theories in the light of 20th century evidence. The physical conflict between the classes became a mental conflict, where ideas were the weapons, perpetuated through institutions, especially educational institutions. He was to have a great influence on radical educational theorists such as Freire and Illich. Schools Power for the ruling classes, came not from force but ideological manipulation and control. Schools and education played a major role in perpetuating this hegemony, reinforcing the social norms of dominance and obedience. The fact that different classes tend to have different schools was evidence that this dynamic was operative. Schools, he thought, should give all pupils a common grounding, free from social differences. However, he was no Rousseau-like romantic. Children, he recognised, did not take naturally to learning. For this reason learning must fit the child. Informal learning Such schools would produce well-rounded participants in society, but also intellectuals who would check the propensity of the ruling classes to assert and reassert their ideological power. The educated individual could act critically to change society and play a significant role in society. Education was therefore a powerful torrent of ideas and action in a society with the capability of changing society for the better. This was a powerful force in 20th century socialist thinking, where intellectuals, and worker‟s education, were regarded as being at the vanguard of working class consciousness and struggle. Conclusion Gramsci related Marxism directly to the institutions of education and saw them as playing a key role in the ideological revolution. The role of intellectuals, not merely academic, in changing society was also recognised. Many would argue that this sort of academic Marxism had a deleterious effect on schooling, politicising education and schools. Others would still argue that an egalitarian educational system is far from realisation and that Gramscian ideas have huge currency in modern debates on education and schooling. As with so much of this debate, the danger lies in the jargon and dialogue on both sides of the debate. Bibliography Boggs, C. (1976) Gramsci’s Marxism. London: Pluto Press. Entwistle, H. (1979). Antonio Gramsci: Conservative schooling for radical politics. London: Routledge. Gramsci, A. (1971). Selections from the Prison Notebooks. London: Lawrence and Wishart. Carmel Borg et al (2003) Gramsci & Education Rowman & Littlefield Althusser (1918-1990) Despite the rather sad end to his life – he murdred his wife and spent his last years in an asylum, Althuser, born in Algiers attempted to reconcile Marxism with structuralism. Like Gramsci, Althusser saw education as the means by which the class system perpetuates itself, stratifying people into workers, the petty bourgeoisie and capitalists. School is a preparation for work and work is the defining characteristic of submission and class. Schools are a means of control by the ruling class and capitalism. The appearance of a meritocracy in schools, he thinks, masks the reality of ideological control. Ideological State Apparatuses Education is an Ideological State Apparatus ISA); schools, family, culture, political, legal and unions. These must be distinguished from a Repressive State Apparatus (RSA); army, police, prisons and courts. Education, as the primary ISA, reproduces the ruling ideology. It does this through grading and assessment, so that the individual strives to achieve what is set as standards of achievement, yet in reality are merely state sponsored selection devices for work and class roles. Conclusion He saw himself as providing an improved Marxist analysis of the role of education by identifying it as an Ideological State Apparatus that controls rather than enlightens. However, he avoids interpreting this as a conspiracy or planned phenomenon. It is simply a function of a scientific Marxist analysis of capitalism. There is some truth in this idea of education perpetuating the myth of ideological positions but the theories are extremely abstract, and those who saw themselves as changing the world through education were to be bitterly disappointed. It was they who were seen to be clinging on to an ideology, which in itself has had its day. With Althusser, Marxist theory in education had run its course. History, a much admired Marxist tool, had proved them wrong. Bibliography Althusser, Louis. "Lenin and Philosophy" and Other Essays. London: New Left Books, 1977. Althusser, Louis. Reading Capital (The Verso Classics Series) Althusser, Louis. For Marx (Verso Classics, 1) Behaviourists Behaviourism was a school of psychology that grew from Pavlov‟s basic, conditioned reflex theory through to more sophisticated forms of experimental studies in animal and human behaviour in learning. Edward Thorndike (1874-1949), the American animal psychologist, developed the theory of „trial and error‟ learning. This he studied using animals in puzzle boxes to show how learning improves with practice. John Watson (1878-1958) built on Pavlov's ideas to maintain that the reflex was the basic unit of behaviour. But it was B.F. Skinner who established it as the paradigmatic theory until the late 1950s. However, its influence continued, and continues to this day through the more sophisticated theories of Albert Bandura and others. Skinner was keenly interested in technology in education and many of the questions he posed are entirely relevant to the e-learning we see today. Pavlov (1849-1936) Ivan Pavlov, a Russian physiologist, won the Nobel Prize for his work on digestion in 1904. The father of behaviourism, he identified conditioned reflexes in dogs using pouches that collected their saliva. This physiological response to external stimuli (Conditioned reflexes) was to shape the study of learning for most of the early and middle 20th century. Positively, it resulted in the detailed study of innate and conditioned stumulus-led behaviour. Negatively, it relied too much on animal studies and ignored the importance of mental events. Classical conditioning Observing that dogs salivate as soon as they see their feeder or food, or smell the food, Pavlov speculated on whether a natural stimulus could be associated with another unrelated stimulus, eliciting the same response. The experiment starts with an „unconditioned stimulus‟ (UCS) that causes a natural response, namely the sight or smell of food that causes the dog to salivate, namely the „unconditioned response‟ (UCR). If we then ring the bell, immediately followed by food, repeated several times, after a time, the dog will salivate „conditioned response‟ (CR) at just the sound of the bell, the „conditioned stimulus‟ (CS). The dog has now associated the bell with food. If the experiment is reversed and no food accompanies the bell, the response eventually disappears, this is called extinction. In human terms we can see that this accounts for learning by association. Bandura and others showed that this was a very much more complex affair than simple reflexes. Advertising, for example, relies on such techniques. Interestingly, in terms of learning, it doesn‟t require us to be taught by another human or to do anything. Conclusion This reflex learning was to form the basis of an entire school of psychology – behaviourism. Pavlov was an excellent physiologist but physiology is not the same as psychology. His work led to a rather mechanistic view of psychology, relying too much on animal experiments, ultimately ignoring the sophistication of the brain and organism. Behaviourism had to cope with this and modified theories, known as S-O-R theories (Stimulus-Organism-Response), recognised that the person's motivation and other dispositions need to be taken into account. Bibliography Boakes, R. A. (1984). From Darwin to behaviourism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Pavlov, I. P. (1927). Conditioned reflexes. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. http://www.ivanpavlov.com/default.htm Biography and lectures online http://nobelprize.org/medicine/educational/pavlov/ Interactive Pavov‟s dog learning game Skinner (1904-1990) B.F. Skinner, the American psychologist, promoted pure behaviourism. Only observable phenomena are allowed as evidence, in this case stimuli and their behavioural responses. No mental events were to be considered admissible, as they were unobservable. His experimental work concentrated on animals and the famous Skinner Box, where rats had to press levers to get food. Although he was not averse to human experimentation, the claim that he raised his daughter in a "Skinner box" and that she sued her father ultimately committing suicide, is an urban myth. Operant conditioning Learning, for Skinner was the ability of an organism to learn to operate in its environment (operant conditioning). If a behaviour is reinforced through repeated stimuli it is more likely to be repeated. An important facet of this theory is that positive reinforcement is more powerful than negative reinforcement i.e. carrots are better than sticks. A problem with relying just on observable behaviour is that what one takes as evidence of reinforcement is the repeated behaviour itself. The evidence is therefore self-fulfilling. Withdrawing a reinforced behaviour also leads to the extinction of the behaviour. Teaching machines and Programmed Instruction Skinner was profoundly affected when he witnessed poor teaching in his daughter‟s maths class. The teacher, he thought, was violating almost everything we know about learning. Rather than adapting to the ability of the child, they were being forced through sheets of problems with no immediate feedback on each problem. The teacher was clearly not shaping any of the 20-30 children in the class. They clearly required help in reinforcement. That same afternoon he built his „teaching machine‟, allowing learners to practice already learnt skills. Within three years he had developed programmed instruction, which broke material down into small steps, and as performance improved, less and less support was provided. As this was before the age of computers, most of this was produced in books, where getting the answers was all too easy. His article Tecahing Machines published in Science (1958) is still a relevant read today and in 1968 he published The Technology of Teaching, a collection of writings on technology and education. His analysis of what sequencing and feedback was required was way ahead of his time and technology. Behaviourism and social engineering One unfortunate consequence of his strict behaviourism was the development of the technology of conditioning; "teaching machines" and other techniques to shape human behaviour on contraception and so on. Walden Two (1961) was an attempt to describe and prescribe this behaviourist utopia in the form of a novel, interestingly, this was to creep into parenting manuals and other social engineering. It is worryingly fascist. There are still elements of this in social engineering policies and techniques practiced by governments today. All attempts to put Walden Two into practice failed. One commune is still going in Mexico, but the link is no longer active! Conclusion The weaknesses of behaviourism are now well known. Obsessively ignoring all internal, cognitive mental events led to a relevant, but narrow account of learning. As the post-coital behaviourist couple joke goes, „That was great for you, how was it for me‟. Its over-dependence on external stimuli along with a tendency to take animal experiments and extend them to humans led to a suffocating, straightjacketed view of psychology. In The Behaviour of Organisms, only two were mentioned; rats and pigeons. This reliance on animal experimentation was far too narrow. To ignore the brain and internal events was to ignore the vast amount of evidence now available to experimental and evolutionary psychologists. We have motivation, emotions, instincts, beliefs, memory and many other facets of the brain which show that it is far from being a blank slate, etched by the environment. Skinner‟s behaviourism is now dead in psychology, initially by Chomsky, who showed that behaviourism could not account for language learning. However its modern form, associatism, a learning theory used by most neural network theorists, lives on. The danger is still to base government policy on the idea that the brain is a totally malleable entity waiting for the appropriate stimuli and reinforcement. Bibliography Skinner, B. (1938). The Behavior of Organisms Skinner, B. (1953). Science and human behavior. New York: MacMillan. Skinner, B. (1961, repr. 1976). Walden Two Skinner, B. (1968). TheTechnology of Teaching. New York: Appleton-Crofts. Skinner, B. (1971). Beyond Freedom and Dignity Skinner, B. (1974, repr. 1976). About Behaviorism http://www.bfskinner.org/index.asp Skinner Foundation http://www.snopes.com/science/skinner.asp Urban myth about Skinner‟s box. Bandura Albert Bandura is a Canadian psychologist, who has been teaching at Stanford since 1953. Although steeped in, and influenced by, behaviourism, his theories transcend traditional behaviourism into what was called "Social Learning Theory", although he now calls it "Social Cognitive Theory". The dropping of the word „learning‟ is significant. Bandura‟s awareness of the personal factors in learning, especially motivation, differentiates him from traditional behaviourism. He also forms a link to those theorists who emphasise social learning, such as Vygotsky. Observational learning Bandura has often been seen as a bridge between behaviourism and cognitive psychology. Bandura moves us beyond classical and operant conditioning claiming that we also learn by observation. This is not to say that we learn violent behaviour from observation or exposure to violence as we may acquire the behaviour but not perform that behaviour. We may not perform because we know the consequences. Bandura sees learning as the acquisition of behaviours. We see others and model our behaviour on this observation. Learning by watching involves the observation of a model, which is then duplicated. This may involve no teaching at all. Observational learning is influenced by: 1. Attention – you must be cognitively attentive to learn 2. Retention, coding, and storing the patterns so they can be retrieved. 3. Motor reproduction - kinaesthetic and neuromuscular patterns are practiced with until the model's behaviour is learnt. 4. Motivation and reinforcement – to push the learner to practice and retain knowledge and skills. Modelling theory Modelling Theory operates in three steps. 1. You observe a model. 2. You imitate the model's actions. 3. You get a consequence. But there‟s far more to the theory than this suggests. The content of the learner‟s perceptions of the learning are also important. Learning may also involve the active coding of the learnt behaviour into words, diagrams or images. Learners are also more motivated to learn behaviours they admire and value. Conclusion In training he has been responsible for the emphasis on behaviour modeling. This was widely used in video training programmes but also in other training delivery channels. His theories go some way towards explaining violent behaviour and responses to advertising and Bandura has explored these experimentally. The theory is still essentially behaviourist with some motivational and social dimensions which means that it underplays other more participative forms of learning. Bibliography Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy: The exercise of control. New York: W.H. Freeman. Bandura, A. (1986). Social Foundations of Thought and Action. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Bandura, A. (1973). Aggression: A Social Learning Analysis. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Bandura, A. (1977). Social Learning Theory. New York: General Learning Press. Bandura, A. (1969). Principles of Behavior Modification. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston. Bandura, A. & Walters, R. (1963). Social Learning and Personality Development. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston. Bandura, A. (1962). Social learning through imitation. In M. Jones (Ed.), Nebraska symposium on motivation (pp. 211-269). Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press. http://www.emory.edu/EDUCATION/mfp/bandurabio.html Excellent biography Humanists There are some thinkers who pop up outside of the system and whose thoughts are so different that they defy classification. Maslow decided to look at learning from the wider perspective of needs. Rogers built on the psychotherapy tradition a respect for counselling and the learner as the focus for active learning. Illich remains the most lucid critic of schooling and schools. All three, especially Rogers and Illich have had a deep influence on educational thought, and in Rogers case, teaching and training practice. Gardener looks inside and takes evolutionary arguments to show that we have multiple intelligences. He is one of a breed of newer psychologists, like Stephen Pinker, who are not afraid to question the blank slate theories of the past and posit alternatives, enlightened by evolutionary theory. Maslow (1908 - 1970) Abraham Maslow, the American psychologist, claimed that organisms prioritise needs. He stripped learning and training back to basic human needs and desires in an attempt to understand what motivates people to learn. Hi hierarchy is often hauled into training programmes without any real understanding of why and whether the theory is indeed correct beyond some simple truisms. Hierarchy of needs He then created a hierarchy of needs, with five layers: Needs Description Physiological needs Thirst, food, sleep, warmth, activity, avoiding pain, and sex Safety and security needs Shelter, stability, protection, salary, pension. Love and belonging needs Friends, partner, children, relationships and community Esteem needs Respect, status, reputation, dignity. Self- respect, confidence and achievement. Self-actualization Aspirational need, the desire to fulfil your potential. The first four are all „deficit‟ or „D-needs‟. If they are not present, you‟ll feel their absence and yearn for them. When each is satisfied you reach a state of homeostasis where the yearning stops. All of these are survival needs and mostly genetic. The last, self-actualisation, does not involve homeostasis, but once felt is always there. Maslow saw this as applying to a tiny number of people, whose basic four levels are satisfied leaving them free to look beyond their deficit needs. He used a qualitative technique called „biographical analysis‟. He looked at high achievers and found that they enjoyed solitude, close relationships with a few rather than many, autonomy and resist social norms. Spontaneity, simplicity and respect for others were other characteristics. Conclusion Maslow has been very influential in training. Part of his appeal is his basic, human approach to motivation through needs. In practice, his work was never really tested experimentally. The self-actualisation theory is perhaps a step too far and now regarded as of little real relevance. A more worrying aspect of the theory is its prioritisation. It is not at all clear that the higher needs cannot be fulfilled until the lower needs are satisfied. There are many counter-examples where people fulfil higher creative needs while living is the most extreme conditions and circumstances. Indeed, creativity can atrophy and die on the back of success. In the end a sort of periodic table for human qualities proved difficult and over-simplistic. Bibliography Maslow, A. (1954). Motivation and personality. New York: Harper. Maslow, A. (1971). The farther reaches of human nature. New York: The Viking Press. Maslow, A., & Lowery, R. (Ed.). (1998). Toward a psychology of being (3rd ed.). New York: Wiley & Sons. Rogers (1902 - 1987) Carl Rogers is known as the founder of 'client-centred' therapy and his promotion of counselling. He also had a keen interest in education and his therapy- oriented methods became widely adopted in education and training through coaching, mentoring and other student- centred Socratic techniques. Roger‟s influence can be felt everywhere in modern learning with from open questioning techniques by tutors to counselling itself in schools and the workplace. Facilitation of learning Influenced by Dewey, he emphasised the relationship between learner and facilitator. As early as 1951 Rogers had looked at 'student-centred teaching' in Client-Centered Therapy (1951: 384-429). There he claimed that teaching is really facilitation and that we must allow the learner to relax to learn and feel free from any form of threat Freedom to Learn (1969:83: 93) takes counselling principles and applies them to education. It explores facilitation and person-centred learning in schools. It was a collection of papers that describe preparation, creating an environment of trust and provocative input to stimulate discussion. Facilitation involved certain qualities and attitudes and realness in the facilitator of learning. The facilitator must treat the learner with genuine respect and open up as one person genuinely communicating with another. When the mask of the professional or expert drops, facilitation is at its most effective. Facilitators must be themselves, in direct person-to-person encounters. More than this realness, is a feeling of prizing the learner, without being condescending. It is this, along with an acceptance that it‟s fine to not know things, that promotes trust. Empathy, in the sense of understanding what is going on in the mind of the learner, seeing it from their perspective, is another feature of good facilitation. Learner‟s need to be understood, not just judged. Conclusion Rogers's influence on therapy, counselling and education is enormous. The general tone of learning through facilitation was set by him and continues to this day in a sort of counsellor/teacher role. This has been positive on the one side, but also has negative consequences. Facilitated learning may benefit more from the honest dissolution of misconceptions rather than an abundance of empathy. Unfortunately, the therapy-oriented techniques aimed at troubled minds do not always apply to people who simply want to learn. Not knowing something is not an illness to be cured by therapy. Many learners also want a less moderated approach to learning. Dialogue may be more appropriate than pure empathy. In counselling, the idea that the client knew more than the counsellor became the prevalent model. Unfortunately, this extreme form of the Socratic method is difficult in learning, where by definition, the learner doesn‟t have the knowledge or skill to start with. Bibliography Rogers, C. R. (1961) On Becoming a Person. A therapist's view of psychotherapy, Boston: Houghton Mifflin (1967 - London: Constable). Rogers, C. (1970) Encounter Groups, New York: Harper and Row; London: Penguin. Rogers, C. R. (1980) A Way of Being, Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Rogers, C. and Freiberg, H. J. (1993) Freedom to Learn (3rd edn.), New York: Merrill. Furedi, F. (2004) Therapy Culture Routledge. Kirschenbaum, H. (1979) On Becoming Carl Rogers, New York: Delacorte Press. Illich (1926-2002) Ivan Illich is famous in educational theory for his seminal text Deschooling Society. „Schooling‟ for Illich confuses teaching with learning, grades with education, diplomas with competence, attendance with attainment. Schools are unworldly and lead to psychological impotence. We become hooked on school to the extent that other institutions are discouraged from assuming educational tasks. Schooling seems to teach us to accept, not our strengths but our alleged deficiencies. Deschooling It is all based on an illusion, he claims, the illusion that most learning is the result of teaching. Most people acquire most of their knowledge outside of school. Most learning happens casually, and even most intentional learning is not the result of programmed instruction. Most learning is, in fact, a by-product of some other activity defined as work or leisure. His attack on schooling is on three fronts: 1. Age – grouping according to age 2. Teachers and pupils – that learning is the result of teaching 3. Full-time attendance – incarceration of the young Adults tend to romanticise their schooling, yet most, when pushed, recognise the smothering atmosphere of the classroom. Even the greatest fan of schools and schooling will recognise that the school has remained largely unchanged since Victorian times. Walk into a school today and you‟ll recognise the classrooms, desks, terms, prefects, rituals, curricula, bells, corridors, timetables, prize givings and reports. It will be all too familiar. Educational exchange Illich sees skills-centres, educational credits and the „possible use of technology to create institutions which serve personal, creative and autonomous interaction”. Well before the age of the internet he foresaw its power in education and knowledge he saw an alternative to schooling through a network or service which gave each person the same opportunity to share his/her concern with others motivated by the same concern. His core idea was that education for all means education by all. He sees us providing the learner with new links to the world instead of continuing to funnel all education through the teacher. In this sense, the inverse of school is possible, recommending four types of educational resource: 1. Reference services to Educational Objects 2. Skill exchanges 3. Peer-matching 4. Reference services to Educators-at-large His critique of the University system is as fierce as that of schools. He sees them as having betrayed their original values, becoming the „final stage of the most all- encompassing initiation rite the world has ever seen‟. In practice, it is here that students redouble their resistance to teaching as they find themselves more comprehensively manipulated. This, along with unlimited opportunities for legitimised waste and the rising costs makes them ripe for reform. Once exposed to intense „schooling‟ it is very difficult to free oneself from school and the expectations it sets. He is also right in noticing that this re-emergence of values comes through in educational reform where we revile modern schools then proceed to propose new schools. He also resists the idea of turning our entire culture into a school through „lifelong learning‟ and attacks the teacher-as-therapist culture. Let us not push out the walls of the classroom until they envelop everything we do in our lives. Conclusion Ivan Illich has had a huge influence on educational thought. I say „thought‟, because his ideas are only now beginning to bear fruit. His critique of schools is as applicable today and some his solutions, such as learning webs, were prescient. Bibliography Illich, Ivan (1973a) Deschooling Society, Harmondsworth: Penguin. Illich, Ivan (1973b) Celebration of Awareness. A call for institutional revolution, Harmondsworth Penguin. Illich, Ivan (1975a) Tools for Conviviality, London: Fontana. Illich, Ivan (1976) After Deschooling, What?, London: Writers and Readers Publishing Co-operative. Reimer, E. (1971) School is Dead. An essay on alternatives in education, Harmondsworth: Penguin. http://www.infed.org/thinkers/et-illic.htm Excellent profile and summary of thought http://reactor-core.org/deschooling.html Full text of Deschooling Society Gardner (1943 - ) Howard Gardner‟s theory of multiple intelligences is opposed to the idea of intelligence being a single measurable attribute. His is a direct attack on the practice of psychometric tests. His is a direct attack on behaviourism, relying more on genetic, instinctual and evolutionary arguments to build a picture of the mind. He also disputes the Piaget notion of fixed developmental stages, claiming that a child can be at various stages of development across different intelligences. Multiple intelligences Howard Gardner viewed intelligence as 'the capacity to solve problems or to fashion products that are valued in one or more cultural setting' (Gardner & Hatch, 1989). He reviewed the literature using eight criteria or 'signs' of an intelligence: 1. Potential isolation by brain damage. 2. The existence of idiots savants, prodigies and other exceptional individuals. 3. An identifiable core operation or set of operations. 4. A distinctive development history, along with a definable set of 'end-state' performances. 5. An evolutionary history and evolutionary plausibility. 6. Support from experimental psychological tasks. 7. Support from psychometric findings. 8. Susceptibility to encoding in a symbol system. These criteria were used to identify a list of seven „intelligences‟. His thoughts on what constitute intelligence have developed over time. The first two are ones that have been typically valued in schools; the next three are usually associated with the arts; and the final two are what Howard Gardner called 'personal intelligences'. Intelligence Description 1. Linguistic intelligence To learn, use and be sensitive to language(s). 2. Logical-mathematical intelligence Analysis, maths, science and investigative abilities. 3. Musical intelligence Perform, compose and appreciate music, specifically pitch, tone and rhythm. 4. Bodily-kinaesthetic intelligence Co-ordination and use of whole or parts of body. 5. Spatial intelligence Recognise, use and solve spatial problems both large and confined. 6. Interpersonal intelligence Ability to read others‟ intentions, motivations, desires and feelings. 7. Intrapersonal intelligence Self-knowledge and ability to understand and use one‟s inner knowledge. 8. Naturalist intelligence Ability to draw upon the immediate environment to make judgements. It‟s important to understand that these intelligences operate together and complement each other. He has described people as having blends of intelligences. Application of the theory The Unschooled Mind, Intelligence Reframed, and The Disciplined Mind look at how the theory may be applied by educators. This has led to a broader more holistic view of education, being less rigid in curricula. More awareness of different intelligences needs to be backed up with teacher awareness, a push towards high quality work, more collaboration between teachers of different disciplines, better and more meaningful curriculum choices and a wider use of the arts. Conclusion Gardiner has more appeal to educators looking for reasons to change the curriculum rather than serious experimental psychology. He has come under attack from those who believe there is a general intelligence quotient. Others do not see his „intelligences‟ as a comparable set of abilities, as some such as musical intelligence, do not have the same consequential impact as others. He has also been criticised for not testing his theories experimentally and failing to identify exactly why he chose his particular criteria for intelligence. What is clear is that Gardiner has opened up the debate and affected real practices in educational institutions around the whole person with a spread of subjects and approaches to learning. This fits teachers‟ intuitive feel for the abilities of those they teach. While the theory may be rather speculative, his identified intelligences represent real dispositions, abilities, talents and potential, which schooling, if it is too narrow, simply ignores. Project SUMIT (Schools Using Multiple Intelligences Theory) claims to have identified real progress across the board in schools that have been sensitive to Gardiner‟s theories. Bibliography Gardner, Howard (1983; 1993) Frames of Mind: The theory of multiple intelligences, New York: Basic Books. Gardner, Howard (1989) To Open Minds: Chinese clues to the dilemma of contemporary education, New York: Basic Books. Gardner, H. (1991) The Unschooled Mind: How children think and how schools should teach, New York: Basic Books. Gardner, Howard (1999) Intelligence Reframed. Multiple intelligences for the 21st century, New York: Basic Books. White, J. (1998) Do Howard Gardner's multiple intelligences add up? London: Institute of Education, University of London. Constructivists Constructivists saw the learner as an active constructer of knowledge and skills. It is a dynamic process and instructional strategies must be aware of the role of the instructor as helping the learner build on their existing knowledge. Learning, therefore, and to relate to their existing state, cognitive and social. Piaget was concerned with cognitive development and how teaching and learning needs to be sensitive to learner development, especially children. Bruner, although an original thinker in his own right, introduced Vygotsky, who has had a serious and on-going influence in educational circles. However, their focus on social context at times distracts from the real task at hand, learning and the learner. Piaget (1896-1980) Jean Piaget, the Swiss psychologist, claimed that cognitive development proceeds in four genetically determined stages, and that they always follow the same sequential order. This theory of child development, he called "genetic epistemology", and it saw the minds of children as very different from those of adults. The growth and development of a child depends on a succession of cognitive structures that build one upon the other into adulthood. Importantly, this perception must be taken into account in teaching and learning. Four cognitive structures (development stages) Development stages Age Description 1. Sensorimotor 0-2 Intelligence takes form of motor actions 2. Preoperations 3-7 Intelligence intuitive in nature 3. Concrete operations 8-11 Intelligence logical but needs concrete referents 4. Formal operations 12-15 Thinking involves abstractions Of course, each of these stages had a more granular structure. Piaget explored these individual capabilities in some detail. His emphasis on mathematical and analytic task experimentation has been criticized as being a little narrow. However, this, he saw as a good indicator of general cognitive development. Piaget‟s learning theory is sensitive to the fact that children will have different perceptions of reality and expectations depending on their stage of development. The teacher must be aware of this and use appropriate techniques to develop the child through assimilation and accommodation. This means not pushing learners beyond their inherent cognitive capabilities. Lastly, one must use active engagement to challenge learners. He has been associated with the work of Vygotsky, although they differ in several key respects. Habermas and Papert have also made expensive use of his theories in theor own work. Conclusion Piaget was the dominant force in child psychology but many of his claims are now subject to a critique from Bruner, Vygotsky and other constructivists who see a more malleable developmental picture. However, on the whole, his sensitivity to age and cognitive development did lead to a more measured and appropriate use of educational techniques that matched the true cognitive capabilities of children. Bibliography Piaget, J. (1929). The Child's Conception of the World. NY: Harcourt, Brace Jovanovich. Piaget, J. (1932). The Moral Judgement of the Child. NY: Harcourt, Brace Jovanovich. Piaget, J. (1969). The Mechanisms of Perception. London: Rutledge & Kegan Paul. Paiget, J. (1970). The Science of Education and the Psychology of the Child. NY: Grossman. Piaget, J. & Inhelder, B. (1969). The Psychology of the Child. NY: Basic Books. Piaget, J. & Inhelder, B. (1973). Memory and intelligence. NY: Basic Books. Bybee, R.W. & Sund, R.B. (1982). Piaget for Educators (2nd Ed). Columbus, OH: Charles Merrill. http://www.piaget.org/ Jean Piaget Society Bruner Jerome Bruner has long been in favour of educational reform. The Process of Education (1960) laid out his general views on the subject, Bruner is still an active writer and his books continue to win acclaim. The Culture of Education (1997) he makes an appeal for a broad based culture of learning beyond the narrow confines of traditional schooling. Influenced by Vygotsky he emphasises the role of the teacher, language and instruction. He thought that different processes were used by learners in problem solving and that these vary from person to person and that social interaction lay at the root of good learning. He wrote an introduction to Vygotsky‟s Thought and Language in 1962. The background to his theories on instruction is based on a social constructivist view of development based on the gradual exposure to socially mediated narratives and explanations. Theory of Instruction Jerome Bruner is a social constructivist, in the sense that he sees learning as a dynamic process where learners construct or build knowledge, based on their existing knowledge. This is an active process of selection, construction and decision-making that builds on existing mental models. It is this that brings meaning to the new knowledge allowing the learner to move beyond their existing structures. Bruner builds on the Socratic tradition of learning through dialogue, encouraging the learner to come to enlighten themselves through reflection. Careful curriculum design is essential so that one area builds upon the other. His theory of instruction addresses four principles: 1. Readiness. The learner must have a predisposition to learn and so their experiences and context must be considered. 2. Structure. The content must be structured so that it can be grasped by the learner. 3. Sequence. Material must be presented in the most effective sequences. 4. Generation. Good learning should encourage extrapolation, manipulation and a filling in the gaps, just beyond the learners existing knowledge. Conclusion Bruner, like Vygotsky, focuses on the social and cultural aspects of learning. His suggests that people learn with meaning and personal significance in mind, not just through attention to the facts. Knowledge and memory are therefore constructed. Learning must therefore be a process of discovery where learners build their own knowledge, with the active dialogue of teachers, building on their existing knowledge. Bibliography Bruner, J. (1960). The Process of Education. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Bruner, J. (1966). Toward a Theory of Instruction. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Bruner, J. (1973). Going Beyond the Information Given. New York: Norton. Bruner, J. (1986). Actual Minds, Possible Worlds. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Bruner, J. (1990). Acts of Meaning. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Bruner, J. (1996). The Culture of Education, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Vygotsky (1896-1934) Lev Vygotsky, the Russian psychologist has a psychology clearly rooted in the dialectical historicism of Hegel and Marx. It was his focus on the role of language, and the way it shapes our learning and thought, that defined his social psychology and learning theory. Behaviour is shaped by the context of a culture, and schools reflect that culture. He goes further driving social influence right down to the level of interpersonal interactions. Then even further, these interpersonal interactions mediate the development of children‟s higher mental functions, such as thinking, reasoning, problem solving, memory, and language. He took larger dialectical themes and applied them to interpersonal communication and learning. Learning theory Psychology becomes sociology as all psychological phenomena are seen as social constructs. In this respect he reversed Piaget‟s position that development comes first and learning second. Vygotsky puts learning before development. Very specifically he prescribes a method of instruction that keeps the learner in the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD). This is the difference between what can be known on one‟s own and what can potentially be known. To progress, one must interact with peers who are ahead of the game through social interaction, a dialectical process between learner and peer. Conclusion The oft-quoted, rarely read Vygotsky appeals to those who see instruction as a necessary condition for learning and sociologists who see culture and learning as a hugely determinant factor in learning. As a pre-Chomskian linguist, his theories of language are dated and still rooted in now discredited dialectical materialism. Bibliography Vygotsky, L.S. (1962). Thought and Language. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Vygotsky, L.S. (1978). Mind in Society. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Wertsch, J.V. (1985). Cultural, Communication, and Cognition: Vygotskian Perspectives. Cambridge University Press. Van der Veer, R., & Valsiner, J. (1991). Understanding Vygotsky: A Quest for Synthesis. Oxford: Blackwell. http://www.marxists.org/archive/vygotsky/index.htm Archive including downloadable translated texts. Learning taxonomists Just three years before behaviourism was to receive its fatal blow from Noam Chomsky, Bloom published his now famous taxonomy of learning. Few realise that this taxonomy is now 50 years old. There have been lots of taxonomies since then, many variations on existing categories. Bloom Benjamin Bloom, in 1956, published the first attempt to classify learning behaviours and provide concrete measures for identifying different levels of learning. His taxonomy includes three overlapping domains; 1. Cognitive (knowledge) 2. psychomotor (skills) 3. affective (attitude) It was devised to assist teachers to classify educational goals and plan and evaluate learning experiences. Six levels of learning This domain consisted of six levels, each with specific learning behaviours and descriptive verbs that could be used when writing instructional objectives. Cognitive learning Knowledge Observation and recall of information Knowledge of dates, events, places Knowledge of major ideas Mastery of subject matter Verbs: list, define, tell, describe, identify, show, label, collect, examine, tabulate, quote, name, who, when, where, etc Comprehension Understanding information Grasp meaning Translate knowledge into new concept Interpret facts, compare, contrast Order, group, infer causes Predict consequences Verbs: summarise, interpret, contrast, predict, associate, distinguish, estimate, differentiate, discuss, extend, etc Application Use information Use methods, concepts, theories in new situations Solve problems using required skills or knowledge Verbs: apply, demonstrate, calculate, complete, illustrate, show, solve, examine, modify, relate, change, classify, experiment, discover, etc Analysis Seeing patterns Organising of parts Recognition of hidden meanings Identification of components Verbs: analyse, separate, order, explain, connect, classify, arrange, divide, compare, select, explain, infer, etc Synthesis Use old ideas to create new ones Generalise from given facts Relate knowledge from several areas Predict, raw conclusions Verbs: combine, integrate, modify, rearrange, substitute, plan, create, design, invent, what if?, compose, formulate, prepare, generalise, rewrite, etc Evaluation Compare and discriminate between ideas Assess value of theories and presentations Make choices based on reasoned argument Verify value of evidence Recognise subjectivity Verbs: assess, decide, rank, grade, test, measure, recommend, convince, select, judge, explain, discriminate, support, conclude, compare, summarise, etc Psychomotor Learning Reflex Objectives not usually set at this basic level Fundamental Applicable mostly to young children movements Descriptive verbs: crawl, run, jump, change direction, etc. Perceptual Descriptive verbs: catch, write, balance, distinguish, abilities manipulate, etc. Physical abilities Descriptive verbs: stop, increase, move quickly, change, react, etc. Skilled Descriptive verbs: play, hit, swim, dive, use, etc movements Non-discursive Descriptive verbs: express, create, mime, design, interpret, etc. communication Affective Learning Attitudes of awareness, interest, attention, concern, and responsibility Ability to listen and respond in interactions with others Ability to demonstrate those attitudinal characteristics, or values, which are appropriate to the situation and field of study Conclusion Bloom, being the first to really establish a working taxonomy of learning, had to have his theories extended as people realised that the tripartite classification was too narrow. The cognitive, psychomotor and affective distinction is still widely used today, which is either a testimony to Bloom‟s vision, or a tendency for the training world to become stuck in old models. His taxonomy was at least a start, which ultimately led to a more professional approach to instructional practice. Bibliography Bloom, B.S. (Ed.) (1956). Taxonomy of educational objectives: The classification of educational goals: Handbook I, cognitive domain. Longmans, Green. Biggs J Biggs & Collis, published „Evaluating the Quality of Learning – the SOLO taxonomy‟ (1982). Taking output from hundreds of learners of different ages, across a range of different subjects, they identified consistent sets of learner output. They put this into a five-stage taxonomy, claiming that it applies to any content. Structure of Observed Learning Outcomes (SOLO) 1 Pre-structural Learners acquire bits of unconnected information, which have no organisation and make no sense Typical written work: Doesn‟t address the question/task, at best restates the question, a series of unrelated facts, uses only small amount of information available, rarely reaches conclusion. 2 Uni-structural Learners make simple and obvious connections, but show little evidence that their significance has been grasped Typical written work: Addresses the question in a limited way, rarely makes explicit links between bits of information, writes in a descriptive fashion, when a conclusion is reached it is done quickly based on very little information. 3 Multi-structural Learners make a number of connections, but meta-connections between them are missed, as is their significance for the whole Typical written work: Uses two or more pieces of data or information, often orders the data but fails to explain links between different sets of data, ignores any inconsistencies, some simple recognition of cause and effect. 4 Relational Learners appreciate the significance of the parts in relation to the whole Typical written work: Begins to link data/information in coherent fashion, reaches conclusions that are consistent with available data, begins to make connections between different sets of data and to theorise/offer explanations, uses most of information available, makes cause and effect judgements. 5 Extended Learners make connections both within and beyond the subject abstract area showing they are able to generalise and transfer the principles and ideas Typical written work: Includes information and concepts that were not „givens‟, number of possible hypotheses considered, assumptions made based on deductive reasoning, a number of plausible explanations without feeling the need to reach a firm conclusion – instead, justifies a number of possible outcomes. Conclusion This is a useful model but in reality, learners and learning may be a little less layered and form a more complex set of relationships across these layers. However, it can be useful to judge a learner‟s progress with reference to these five stages of learning. As a grand theory it has its place, as a practical model for design it is too general. Bibliography Biggs (1982) „Evaluating the Quality of Learning – the SOLO taxonomy’ Wills Stefan Wills took Bateson‟s levels of learning and expanded them (1994) into a taxonomy that contained three types of learning. Type 1 Learning that occurs as a direct consequence of absorbing Cerebral Learning factual information, which has an immediate relevance but does not have any long-term effect on the learner‟s view of the world or personal identity. Type 1 learning is highly dependent on effective memory retention. Type 2 Learning that occurs as a result of building on the absorption of Skills-based factual information, so that behaviour changes and becomes Behavioural transferable from the present situation to another. The learner Learning therefore changes their conception about a particular aspect of their world in general, although it remains situation-specific. Type 2 learning therefore results in concrete but superficial and situation-specific behaviour changes. Type 3 Learning that occurs when the learner becomes conscious of Transformational their conceptions of the world in general, how they are formed Learning and how they might change them, and ultimately becomes aware of the effects these changes may have on personal identity or development of the self. This kind of learning is not situation-specific and comparatively rare. It implies a whole- person process where the learner becomes conscious of a change in who they are. Bibliography Will S. (1972) Steps to an Ecology of Mind Belbin Meredith Belbin is famous for his team building theory, defining optimal teams and team roles. His 1998 taxonomy matches learning objectives to learning methods. It has six types of learning. Interestingly he adds procedural and interpersonal skills. Comprehension An understanding of concepts and principles. knowledge Objective: To develop general understanding. Reflex skills The acquisition of skilled movements and perceptual abilities. Objective: To produce fast and reliable patterns of response or manipulation. Attitude development Changing or improving attitudes towards people, objects or concepts. Objective: To change or develop new attitudes. Memorisation Memorising information that has to be recalled without reference to source material. Objective: To remember specific facts and figures. Procedural learning Following simple routines from memory or more complex routines from manuals. Objective: To acquaint the learner with a range of procedures. Interpersonal skills The acquisition of skills which enable effective interactions between people. Objective: To develop effective interpersonal skills Team building Bibliography http://www.belbin.com/ Instructionalists The first really heavyweight psychologist to look at how instruction is related to memory was the mighty Ebbinghaus, the first to seriously and scientifically dissect memory. His findings are directly relevant to instructional design over a century later. Much later we have the massively influential Gagne in the 60s and Mager in the 70s. These two are firmly rooted in traditional taxonomies of learning and behavioural objectives. Their recommendations, although sensible, don‟t say much about sophisticated instructional methods for skills. Some would argue that they have held back the cause of good design by focusing too much on „objectives‟. I tend to agree with Schank when he says that, „Learning objectives is a phrase that literally makes my stomach turn when I hear it….Learning objectives tend to trivialise complex issues by making them into sound bites that can be told and then tested to see whether you were listening‟. Ebbinghaus (1850-1909) Hermann Ebbinghaus, published a landmark book in 1885, Uber das Gedachtis (On Memory), translated into English in 1913. He put the study of memory on a sure scientific footing using rigorous experiments, exploring retention and the effects of sequencing and patterns of practice on memory. Indeed, most subsequent research into learning and memory has been footnotes to his work. The whole idea of forgetting is still all too absent in education and training with little or no real attention given to reinforcement methods. Decay from memory In perhaps his most famous experiment, trying to remember syllable lists, he found that after certain periods he remembered only a percentage of the original: Time Recall 20 mins 58% 1 hour 44% 24 hours 34% 31 days 21% His was the first learning curve. In other words, within a month nearly 80% of the learned content had been lost. But the real lesson was that most of the loss came in the first few minutes. The distinction between short and long-term memory was made, and it became clear that successful learning had to push knowledge from short to long-term memory to be successful. Of course, it is not simply a matter of practice and reinforcement, related meaning and the organisation of the material are also important. Distributed practice A less well known, but just as significant, discovery was the benefits of distributed practice. Distributed practice is spread out over a period of time, whereas massed practice takes place in one session. The spacing out of practice seems to avoid fatigue effects and lead to more consolidation of memory. Consolidation seems to be optimal after about 20 minutes, suggesting that we should practice and reinforce learning after 15-20 minutes. Primacy and recency Ebbinghaus also discovered the serial position effect. In remembering lists, he observed that people are far more likely to remember items at the start and end of lists. These effects are called primacy and regency. It depends on the nature of the material, the relationship between the material and users approach to learning, but by and large the principle is that material from both ends of a learning experience are retained more than the stuff in the middle. This has been confirmed many times since. Take the example of the Presidents of the US. Most people remember Washington and the more recent Reagan, Clinton and Bush. Incidentally, many people also remember Abraham Lincoln, confirming another psychological effect in learning, the von Rector effect (1933). He found that the more something stands out from the crowd, the easier it is to remember. In a specific experiment by E.J Thomas in Studies in Adult Education (1972), it was found that there was a massive dip in attention and recall from the middle of lectures. In other words, in lectures and the classroom the effects of primacy and recency are profound. The strength of opening events and summaries has long been recognised in the design of learning materials. Conclusion Some argue that learning theory is fundamentally memory theory. Ebbinghaus was the first great experimental investigator into memory, using nonsense syllables to study learning and forgetting across time. Most of the major findings in this area were covered by him and many of his central conclusions remain true and instructive. Of course, there have been many refinements in memory theory and learning and his investigations really only apply to simple rote learning. Other semantic issues also matter along with attention, motivation and other psychological factors. Bibliography Ebbinghaus, Hermann (1885). Translation of Memory: A Contribution to Experimental Psychology http://psychclassics.yorku.ca/Ebbinghaus/ Gagne (1916 - 2002) Robert M Gagne, a behaviourist by background and inclination, also took an interest in the information processing view of learning and memory. The Conditions of Learning was published in 1965 outlining his learning theory. Then, in 1968, an article called Learning Hierarchies, followed by Domains of Learning in 1972. In these texts he developed his five categories of learning and a universal method for instruction defined in nine instructional steps. Five categories of learning Gagne‟s theory has five categories of learning: Intellectual Skills Demonstrated by classifying things and problem solving Cognitive strategies Demonstrated by their use and appropriate application Verbal information Demonstrated by stating the information accurately Motor skills Demonstrated by physical performance Attitudes Demonstrated by preferring options Nine instructional events He insisted on a single method of instruction that can be applied to all five categories of learning. These instructional events were to be the bedrock for good instructional design. You were expected to move through them step by step like a recipe. 1 Gaining attention To get the learner into an expectant state 2 Stating the objective To get the learner to understand what they will be able to do as a result of the instruction 3 Stimulating recall of prior To get the learner to appreciate that they posses learning existing relevant knowledge 4 Presenting the stimulus To expose the learner to the content 5 Providing learning guidance To get the learner to understand the content 6 Eliciting performance To get the learner to demonstrate what they have learned 7 Providing feedback To inform the learner about their performance 8 Assessing performance To reinforce the learning 9 Enhancing retention and To get the learner to indulge in varied practice and transfer to other contexts to generalise the new capability Conclusion He was one of the few learning theorists who provided some simple and practical advice on instructional design, which in some way accounts for his success. Although his instructional model is not applicable to all types of learning, he brought a certain method to design which produced lots of solid learning design and content. Bibliography Gagne, R. M. (1965). The Conditions of Learning, New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston. Mager Robert Mager published the second edition of his book Preparing Instructional Objectives in 1975. His Criterion Referenced Instruction (CRI), an extension of Gagne‟s method of instruction, was a method for the design and delivery of training. All of this led to a more concentrated approach to design based on competences and assessment focused on learning or performance objectives. Learning objectives Learning objectives determine the outcomes and how they are to be assessed with the all modules having clear, defined objectives, practice exercises, and mastery tests. A good learning objective has to have three primary components of an objective: 1) Conditions. An objective always describes the important conditions (if any) under which the performance is to occur. 2) Performance. An objective always says what a learner is expected to be able to do; the objective sometimes describes the product or the result of the doing. 3) Criterion. Wherever possible, an objective describes the criterion of acceptable performance by describing how well the learner must perform in order to be considered acceptable. Mager held that an important part of writing good objectives was to use "doing words." These are words which describe a performance (e.g., identify, select, recall) which can be observed and measured. Words to avoid are those which describe abstract states of being (e.g. know, learn, appreciate, be aware) which are difficult to observe or measure. Mager's model is still used as a guide to good objective writing. Criterion Referenced Instruction The Criterion Referenced Instruction (CRI) framework developed by Robert Mager is a set of methods for the design and delivery of training programs. It relies on a detailed task analysis, the identification of performance objectives then assessment against those objectives and a modular course structure that represents the performance objectives. CRI promoted the idea of self-paced learning using a variety of media. It heavily influenced the objective-led, modular, self-paced, assessed design model that has become common in e-learning. Criterion Referenced Instruction (CRI) was based on five principles: 1. Competences - The instructional objectives are derived from job performance and reflect the competencies (knowledge and skills) that need to be learned. 2. Scope - Learners study and practice only those skills not yet mastered to the level required by the objectives. 3. Practice - Learners are given opportunities to practice each skill they need to learn and obtain feedback about the quality of their performance. 4. Reinforcement - Learners receive repeated practice in key skills that are to be used often or are difficult to learn. 5. Autonomy - Learners have some freedom to choose the order in which to complete modules and progress self-paced based on their mastery of the objectives. Conclusion On the positive side, Mager, like Gagne, introduced rigour into the process of instructional design. In his case, these were; learning objectives, competences and assessments. It brought discipline to training and design by reinforcing professionals to match learning to real objectives. However, behaviourism still underpinned the approach. Learners were, in effect, conditioned to meet behavioural objectives. It led to an over-emphasis on competences, learning objectives and assessments that turned many learning experiences into dull and demotivating experiences for learners. Bibliography Mager, Robert F. (1962). Preparing Instructional Objectives Palo Alto, Calif.: Fearon Publishers Mager, R. (1975). Preparing Instructional Objectives (2nd Edition). Belmont, CA: Lake Publishing Co. Mager, R. & Pipe, P. (1984). Analyzing Performance Problems, or You Really Oughta Wanna (2nd Edition). Belmont, CA: Lake Publishing Co. Mager, R. (1988). Making Instruction Work. Belmont, CA: Lake Publishing Co. Experientialists The history of learning theory has consistently shown the importance of „learning by doing‟. Yet much formal learning delivery is devoid of experiential learning. It is left to informal learning, applying our knowledge and skills in the real world, that most of this „learning by doing‟ takes place. Theorist after theorist has shown the importance of practice, yet few learning professionals and institutions pay it more than lip service. Of course, experiential learning need not mean real experience in the real world. It can also mean the delivery of compressed experience through simulations. A flight simulator is no less experiential than a real aircraft. In fact, one could argue that it is more experiential as it can deliver scenarios and conditions that one may never encounter in real life. We are finally entering an era where technology can deliver experiential simulations at relatively low price, not only for pilots, but for doctors, managers and a whole range of skills that we need to learn and apply. Kolb, famous for his experiential cycle, drew on a rich tradition from Dewey onwards to pull together a model for experiential learning. It is simplistic and needed modification. Schank is more concerned with an experiential model based on his own cognitive theories on learning through failure and scenario-based learning. In his case this is backed up by real content, produced using case-based reasoning and simulations. Kolb David A. Kolb is best known for his work on experiential learning. Dewey, Lewin and Piaget heavily influenced him, preferring an experiential model for learning as opposed to purely cognitive models. We obviously learn much from experience, either formally in terms of structured exposure in training or in work and life itself through informal learning. Kolb and others since have tried to examine how we learn experientially and how this can be used to guide instructional strategies. Experiential learning David A. Kolb (with Roger Fry) created his famous four stage learning cycle. Kolb claims that we can enter the cycle at any point and that learning is really a process of looping round and round again, seeing improvement on each loop. We may, for example, be able to do something but not express it in abstract terms. Learning is formed through real experience, where one‟s ideas are put to the test. Feedback then shapes the learning so that performance improves. Models such as these can be over-simplistic. They rarely match the reality of the learning process and one can argue that stages can be skipped or performed in parallel. Others have argued that it pays too little attention to theory, information tasks, memorisation and reflection. Subsequent tests of the model by Jarvis (1987, 1995) have indeed shown that things are more complex. The model is less of a cycle and more of a web of causality. Conclusion Although this model is a useful guide, in practice, the design of experiential learning is more complex. The idea of cyclical learning informed by experience is sound, as is the importance of formative experiences themselves in learning. Kolb is a refreshing alternative to the overemphasis on academic, knowledge-based learning. Bibliography Kolb, D. A. (1984) Experiential Learning, Englewood Cliffs, NJ.: Prentice Hall. Kolb, D. A. (1976) The Learning Style Inventory: Technical Manual, Boston, Ma.: McBer. Kolb, D. A. (with J. Osland and I. Rubin) (1995a) Organizational Behavior: An Experiential Approach to Human Behavior in Organizations 6e, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall. Kolb. D. A. and Fry, R. (1975) 'Toward an applied theory of experiential learning;, in C. Cooper (ed.) Theories of Group Process, London: John Wiley. Jarvis, P. (1987) Adult Learning in the Social Context, London: Croom Helm. 220 pages. Jarvis P. (1995) Adult and Continuing Education. Theory and practice 2e, London: Routledge. Schank Schank is a critic of the current educational system, pointing to 19th century curriculum structures, teaching by telling, lectures and memorisation as structures and techniques that make most averse to learning. By allowing users to fail in controlled environments, he saw that instruction is not about telling. It‟s about real or fictionally constructed experience, involvement and practice, including the experience of failure. Script theory Based on an examination of language and memory, Schank has explored the idea of personalised scripts in learning and memory. This personalised, episodic model of memory led to a theory of instruction that exposed learners to model scripts by allowing them to experience the process of building their own scripts. We need scripts for handling meetings, dealing with customers, selling to others and so on. Knowledge is not a set of facts, it‟s a set of experiences. This is not taught by telling, it is taught by doing, „there really is no learning without doing‟. Learning by doing He rejects the idea that we have to fill people up with knowledge they‟ll never use. Too much education and training tries, and fails, to do this. We need to identify why someone wants to learn then teach it. In this sense he puts skills before factual knowledge. Meaningful stories (scripts) lie at the heart of his instructional method. These contextualise learning and link to previous schema. A fierce critic of lectures and classroom education and training, he has developed simulation methods for exposing learners to script building environments, where they can learn by repeated exposure to failure and ultimately success. Expectation failure is when things turn out to be different from what you expected. This is when you learn. Breaking with traditional linguists and theorists of learning, he sees the learning as a difficult and messy process. We match incoming problems to past experiences. Case-based reasoning is therefore instructive, where we learn by doing what we want to do. We also learn by making mistakes and reflecting on what those mistakes were and what we can do about them. Learning by doing, works. Learning by telling, doesn't. In e-learning this means using case-based instruction, emotional impact, video, role- playing, storytelling. Learners are put into situations that seem realistic to them, to solve problems, and possibly fail, and have someone help them out. Design is hard, reworking the thing into a case-based scenario; something that seems like a goal someone has, then to helping them accomplish it - that's learning. He illustrates his approach by example. How many car lengths should you keep ahead of you? We've all learned. I mean, for every car length, it equals 10 miles per hour. Is someone going to go out and measure car lengths while they're driving? That's the wrong question. Story-Centred Curricula He has explored learning from mentored experience, not from direct instruction presented out of context. Fictional situations are set up in which students must play a role. They need to produce documents, software, plans, presentations and such within a story describing the situation. Deliverables produced by the student are evaluated by team members and by mentors. The virtual experiential curricula are story centred. Story-Centred Curricula are carefully designed apprenticeship-style learning experiences in which the student encounters a planned sequence of real-world situations constructed to motivate the development and application of knowledge and skills in an integrated fashion. An advocate of home schooling he is also creating a Virtual High School with year long experiences into which traditional subjects are brought in when needed, for home-schooled learners as an alternative to the 1892 curriculum now in place. Conclusion Schank has turned most instructional methods on their head by rejecting the objective, competence-led approach for a more meaningful, experiential, learn by doing method. Case-based scenarios and stories are used to create contexts in which learners succeed, and just as importantly fail. Bibliography Schank, R.C. (1975). Conceptual Information Processing. New York: Elsevier. Schank, R.C. (1982a). Dynamic Memory: A Theory of Reminding and Learning in Computers and People. Cambridge University Press. Schank, R.C. (1982b). Reading and Understanding. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum. Schank, R.C. (1986). Explanation Patterns: Understanding Mechanically and Creatively. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum. Schank, R.C. (1991). Tell Me a Story: A New Look at Real and Artificial Intelligence. New York: Simon & Schuster. Schank, R.C. & Abelson, R. (1977). Scripts, Plans, Goals, and Understanding. Hillsdale, NJ: Earlbaum Assoc. Schank, R.C. & Cleary. C. (1995). Engines for education. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum Assoc. Schank, R.C (2005). Lessons in e-Learning. Pfeiffer. Technology analysts As technology plays an increasing role in learning, some have focused on examining that role in cultural and social terms. While there‟s a great deal of literature on the general impact of technology on society and business, there‟s a dearth of good content on technology and learning. To contrast two cultural and media analysts, one sees print as something to be valued and defended against the onslaught of electronic media, the other sees print as leading to linear thinking and isolation. Marshall McLuhan through his „medium is the message‟ determinism, was media as inflicting its intrinsic qualities on individuals, separately from the content. He saw the Gutenburg age as something that was to be overcome, but warned us to be on our guard against all technologically defined media. Neil Postman, on the other hand, has a longstanding interest in the impact of TV and other screen-based media on the minds of children. He is the direct heir of McLuhan in that he sees the medium as having intrinsic qualities, which have a direct impact on the learning mind. Not all of these qualities, he reminds us, are good. As we wrestle with the impact of the internet on learning and culture, we should not ignore the pioneers of this analysis, as they have much to offer. McLuhan (1911-1980) Marshall McLuhan, popularised, if not invented „media studies‟. His accessible books and aphoristic style introduced reflection on communications and media to an entire generation. Indeed, „the medium is the message‟ has become so popular that it has become a cliché. His ideas, particularly his media determinism, endure, and he has much to offer those who are interested in the impact of technology in learning, from writing through print to new technology. Gutenburg generation Although put forward as a savant on electronic media, he was strongest in his analysis of print media. In The Gutenburg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man, he first explores the relationship between media (writing, print and electronic) to the individual mind and then to society. Media are seen as extensions of mind, but not always additive. Print, he thinks, brings in a linear, sequential mode of thought that sometimes simplifies, seprates and subsumes other modes (such as hearing). Print is the technology of individualism. In his analysis of what he called „the Gutenburg generation‟, the industrial revolution, he thought, was a consequence of the print revolution. This new medium resulted in „private readers‟ isolated from each other, resulting in less community and social interaction. This was a direct result of mass copying and book design as a cheap and portable piece of technology. He saw most media as leading us towards a „global village‟. (Note that this was often seen by him as a negative term.) Medium is the message In Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man McLuhan defines media as defining ourselves and society. The invention of alphabets and writing radically alters our minds and our relationship with the world. His famous „medium is the message‟ became the foundation stone for media and technology studies. Famously misprinted by the publisher as „The massage is the medium‟, McLuhan loved the error. His point was that each medium has a set of intrinsic qualities that changes our relationship with the world. Speed, replication, pattern, scalability are all features of media which shape the nature of the message. The tools we shape, also shape us, and we have to understand this process. It is this deterministic view of media that he is best known. Hot and cold media Media are divided into hot (low audience participation, such as print) and cool (high audience participation, such as TV). It is not clear that this distinction survives in our multimedia, internet age. However, his analysis of the effect of different types of media are strong and remain relevant. Indeed, the advent of the internet has thrown much of McLuhan‟s analysis up in the air, as it has many dimensions that prove difficult to fit into these older analyses. Conclusion McLuhan was arguably the originator, certainly a populiser, of an entirely new subject – media studies. His insights into the nature of media were profound and many of his ideas about the way media and technology impact individuals and society were prescient. Amusingly, he appeared in the Woody Allen film Annie hall, as himself. When presented to a professor who was trying to impress his date with his knowledge of McLuhan, he asks McLuhan how he ever became a professor. McLuhan ends by saying „You don‟t understand my work at all‟, perhaps a fitting comment for many mordern commantators. Bibliography McLuhan, Marshall (1962). The Gutenburg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man. New York: Routledge. McLuhan, Marshall (1964). Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man. Gingko. McLuhan, Marshall (1967). The Medium is the Massage. Gingko. McLuhan, Marshall (1968). War and peace in the Global Village. Gingko. McLuhan, Marshall (1989). The Global Village. Gingko. Levinson, Paul (1999). Digital McLuhan: A Guide to the Information Millenium. Routledge. Postman New York University‟s Neil Postman has explored the impact of technology on culture and education. He is best known for his work on television as a cultural and educational force but has a much wider reach into the broader issues of teaching and schooling. It would be fair to say that he warns us against the unthinking adoption of technology and schooling without purpose and values. His voice is a valuable antidote to the unthinking adoption of technology in learning. Electronic media may be all pervasive, this is not to say that they are all good for learning and cultural development. Amusement is not learning In Amusing Ourselves to Death, Postman warns us against mistaking the rhetoric of a broadcast medium for learning. Stripped of dialogue, the flow of film and television strips us of our ability to reflect, think, deduce and resolve issues. It stops us learning. However, his main argument is that teaching, as a form of dialogue, is being replaced by entertainment or amusement. The Disappearance of Childhood A central theme in his work is the effect of media on childhood. In The Disappearance of Childhood and Childhood: Can It Be Preserved, he identifies the creation of childhood with print and reading, certainly since the Renaissance. Television, he claims, blurs he adult/child distinction, making children behave like adults and adults like children. Schools, he states, along with the family, protect us from this unthinking adoption of technology. They preserve the values of childhood, rooted as they are in the culture of teaching, dialogue and print. This is not to say that schools are all good. Public schooling is simply the best we have come up with as a form of introduction to the adult world. In The End of Education he defines the role of schools as both dissemination of values and knowledge as well as the skills of reflection, critique and debate, but fears the effects of technology and sees the tangible evidence of decline. Technopoly His wider research into technology in culture is well represented by Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology. Technology is both good and bad. It becomes dangerous when we look to it for the authentification of our culture or allow it to determine our lives through the joy of consumption. He is a jealous guardian of the culture of print and reading and has grounded much of his theory in a defence of the language of dialogue against the language of technology and consumerism. It is through reading, he thinks, that our true educational development takes place. Conclusion We should not mistake Postman‟s critiques of television and other media as complete condemnation. He is not, as some claim, a simple reactionary. He is asking us to think deeply about the effects of technology on both learning and culture. Technology can both impress and oppress. He is careful to defend the traditional without being naively conservative. Bibliography Postman, Neil (1982). The Disappearance of Childhood. New York: Delacorte. Postman, Neil (1985). Amusing Ourselves to Death. New York: Penguin. Postman, Neil (1992). Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology. New York: Knopf. Postman, Neil (1997). The End of Education: Redefining the Value of School. New York: Knopf. Media & design As e-learning emerged from computer based training, some lessons were successfully carried over, others were forgotten or ignored. We are still woefully short of good research on what works and what doesn‟t work in screen-based learning. So many programmes feel, either dull, or as if they had been created from a media scrap-yard. It is not clear to many designers how, in terms of learning, text works with audio, what size and quality of video is required, whether accompanying animation aids or distracts from learning and so on. Fortunately a few academics have got to work on these basic questions, although their work is still relatively unknown, even among professional e-learning designers. Clark and Mayer, along with Nass and Reeves, stand out as pioneers in the empirical testing of issues that face most e-learning designers around the use of text, graphics, audio, animation, video and their combinations. These lessons have become even more important as increased bandwidth has led to an explosion in the use of audio, animation and video. Mayer & Clark Richard Mayer‟s and Ruth are among the foremost researchers in the empirical testing of media and media mix hypotheses. Their e-Learning and the Science of Instruction (2003) covers seven design principles; multimedia, contiguity, modality, redundancy, coherence, personalisation, and practice opportunities. Clear explanations are given about the risks of ignoring these principles - with support from worked examples and case study challenges. Their precise studies have confirmed that our media mix in learning is often flawed, resulting in cognitive overload and dissonance. The poor use of text layout and dislocated pop-up text has also been identified as a serious weakness. Petrhaps their greatest contribution has been in identifying redundancy as a serious problem in screen-based learning. Overwritten text and audio have been shown to reduce learning as have extraneous or distracting graphics and animation. Less is often more. Multimedia and modality Clark and Mayer (2003) argue that words and simple graphics can improve learning as they use separate cognitive channels, as opposed to text and graphics/animation which both use the visual channel. This is an argument for using audio and graphics without screen text. According to studies in Clark and Mayer (2003) audio or text on their own are better than text and audio together. This is confirmed by another study by Kalyuga, Chandler and Sweller (1999) where the group with audio scored 64% better than the group with both text and audio. They claim that one or other is redundant and will overload the visual and aural channels. Contiguity Mayer (1989), Mayer Steinhoff Bower (1995) and Moreno and Mayer (1999) in five separate studies compared graphics with text close to the graphics, and graphics with text below the graphics, at the foot of the screen. In all five studies, learners the co- located text and graphics resulted in improved problem solving of between 43-89%. Similar results have been found by Chandler and Sweller (1991), Pass and Van Merrienboer, (1994). Making the learner‟s eye jump from one part of the screen to another is disruptive and reduces the effectiveness of the learning. E-learning has also introduced heavy doses of rollover text which is displaced away from the item over which the cursor rolls so that the pop-up text appears elsewhere on the screen at a distance from the item in question. The research confirms that this is to be avoided in learning programmes. Redundancy They claim that words in both text and accompanying audio narration can hurt learning. This is interesting as it is often assumed that one needs both to cover accessibility issues. Coherence One study by Mayer, et al (1996) presented 600 pieces of scientific learning and found that briefer versions, which were concise, coherent and co-ordinated, resulted in more effective learning. They are precise in their recommendations, „There is a clear pattern in which the more words added to the core verbal explanation, the more poorly the student does in producing the core explanative idea units. These results are consistent with the idea that the additional words overload verbal working memory, drawing limited attentional and comprehension resources away from the core verbal explanation.‟ A review of studies around this concept, known as the redundancy effect, by Sweller et al (1998) cites a list of research studies that all point to the damage done to learning when redundant material interferes with the efficacy of the learning. For example; they illustrate a point about leaving out extraneous or distracting graphics in media with an experiment conducted by Harp and Mayer (1997) in which students were given a text to read on lightning strikes. Students who read the passage accompanied by elaborate colour photos with additional captions - as opposed to the text with simple graphics - showed 73% less retention of knowledge and 52% fewer solutions on a transfer test. Conclusion Clark and Mayer were among the first to seriously research the use of media in e- learning and have come up with empirically tested conclusions, often repeated by others, which suggest that many common practices in e-learning design are, in fact, wrong. They actually result in harming rather than helping the learning process. They call for simpler, less gimmicky use of media. Bibliography Mayer R E and Clark R, E-learning and the Science of Instruction (see p61 for multiple references), Pfeiffer, 2003 Mayer R E, Systematic Thinking Fostered by Illustrations in Scientific Text. Journal of Educational Psychology, 81, 240-246. 1989 Mayer R E, and Gallini J K. When Is An Illustration Worth a Thousand Words? Journal of Educational Psychology, 88, 64-73. 1990 Mayer R E and Anderson RB. Animations Need Narrations. Journal of Educational Psychology, 90, 312-320. 1991 Mayer R E and Anderson RB. The Instructive Animation: Helping Students Build Connections Between Words and Pictures. Journal of Educational Psychology, 90, 312-320. 1992 Reeves & Nass Byron Reeves and Clifford Nass are two Stanford academics whose book „The Media Equation: How People Treat Computers, Television and New Media Like Real People and Places‟ is a key text on how we cognitively react to media. People confuse media with real life, 'People can't always overcome the powerful assumption that mediated presentations are actual people and objects.' We react to media in the same way that we react to real people and real places. They provide a compelling case to show that that people confuse media with real life. It‟s what makes movies, television, radio, the web and e-learning work. Much design of computer software and e-learning ignores this fundamental principle and their real contribution comes in the many detailed empirical studies on basic design such as the use of manners, personality and social roles in the design of media. They also did groundbreaking research into the use of image size in video, fidelity of video and audio, synchrony and motion in media. Media equals real life The 35 psychological studies into the human reaction to media all point towards the simple proposition that media equals real life. By this they mean that people react towards media socially and naturally, even though they believe it is not reasonable to do so. 'People can't always overcome the powerful assumption that mediated presentations are actual people and objects.' However, this is only true 'as long as a media technology is consistent with social and physical rules'. If the media technology fails to conform to these human expectations - we will NOT accept it. The spell is easily broken. We must learn to design our courseware as if it were being delivered by real people in a human fashion. Politeness, flattery, personality, arousal Take one example, arousal; arouse people at the start and they will remember more. The first experience many learners have in an e-learning programme is a dull list of learning objectives. There is a strong argument for emotional engagement at the start of an e-learning programme and not a list of objectives. On the other hand, persistent arousal can be counterproductive. Another is our dislike of unnatural timing. Slight pauses, waits and unexpected events cause disturbance and audio-video asynchrony such as poor lip-synch or jerky low frame rate video result in negative evaluations of the speaker. Reeves and Nass (1996) have also shown that politeness, flattery, personality and many other features can help people adapt to computer mediated communication and learning. Feedback One study found that computers should praise people frequently, even when there is no reason to. Praise and blame are asymmetrical - we love to be praise and hate to be criticised, so give out criticism carefully and sparingly. Specialists With experts, respected and authoritative views can not only bring credibility to the programme, they can also increase learning and retention. People like identifiable personalities. Audio and video Audio fidelity is much more important than video fidelity. Learners expect consistently high quality at a consistent volume. They conclude that „For designers of multimedia, audio is a good place to invest. It appears to deliver more psychological bang for the buck‟. Because peripheral vision is largely ill-defined and we are used to low visual fidelity in twilight, fog and so on, we are likely to cope well with low fidelity visual images. They tested their hypothesis by measuring attention, memory and evaluation of the experience when viewing video. Interestingly they could detect no difference between those who viewed low, as opposed to high, fidelity images. Taking their experiments further they also discovered that the size and shape of the screen and therefore image mattered more than quality. Large screens and images were preferable to higher quality. In other words larger wide screen format monitors have more impact than quality of image. Conclusion 'If the designers of media would only follow their (Reeves and Nass) guidance, we would all gain through enhanced social graces in our interactions with media and technology' says Donald A Norman. Reeves and Nass have provided a single unifying theory about human-media interaction along with many detailed studies on specific facets of that relationship. Bibliography Nass B and Reeves B, The Media Equation: How People Treat Computers, Television and New Media Like Real People and Places, Cambridge, 1996 Usability & evaluation Norman and Nielsen stand out as two well published figures who tried to bring reason to bear in the fast moving, and at times anarchic, internet. Their common sense advice was based on cognitive user models and real user trials. In other words, they are not so much designers, as advisors on design, based on real trial evidence. This empirical approach to design was badly needed in a world of subjective judgements, where the whims of designers often overruled the needs of users. As the internet grew, it was subject to much use and abuse in design. We have all been on the end of the abuse as we have struggled to get to grips with the technology. We shouldn‟t be surprised, as computer tools are complex, it‟s an evolving field and tasks often need some learning. But good design applies as much to the screen as to physical objects and we should be pleased that some theorists have focused on solving these problems through user-based evidence and trials. Usability is a balancing act between expert designers and testing with experts and real users. All three are often surprisingly scarce in web and e-learning design. Norman Donald Norman‟s touchstone for successful technology is that it should be invisible, hidden from sight. Technology must conform to human needs, not the other way around. This requires user- centred design to humanise technology. An effective interface should render technology invisible. We don't notice it because it works effectively. He has also applied his critiques to interface design and is a consistent critic of inconsistent and gimmicky web design. The Psychology of Everyday Things In The Psychology of Everyday Things, Norman takes a wry look at product design in everyday objects such as VCRs, computers, telephones, car windows, dashboards, doors etc. to show good and bad practice. It‟s full of examples explaining why people push when they should pull, click the wrong buttons and generally fail to complete the simplest of everyday tasks. His advice is straightforward and has plenty of relevance in e-learning and web design. His first rule is „Design for usability‟. Usability, or ease of use, is paramount. Don‟t make navigation difficult. Make things visible – don‟t keep the user in the dark. A good example of how this goes wrong in e-learning is the poor use of icons in navigation. Programmes sometimes have graphics that look like icons but are not active, merely illustrative. You click on them and nothing happens. Even worse, you may click on an icon and something unexpected happens. The icon may even be meaningless. In practice, icons usually have to be supported by text. Mapping is another of his principles in design. To steer a car you turn the wheel to the right to go right and left to go left. This is mapping. Apply this to navigation on the screen. To go forward the arrow should face to the right and left to go back. In general, in navigation, feedback (another Norman design principle) is also important. You need to know when you‟ve arrived at a destination. Computer interfaces In his later works he tackles, not objects, but computer interfaces. How do new users understand what to do? First, follow conventional usage, both in the choice of images and the allowable interactions. Convention can constrain creativity but on the whole, unless we follow the major conventions, we usually fail. Those who violate conventions, even when they are convinced that their new method is superior, are doomed to fail. (You cannot successfully introduce a non-qwerty keyboard today, or reverse the window scroll bar convention. For better or for worse, human culture changes slowly, if at all.) Use words to describe the desired action (e.g., "click here" or use labels in front of perceived objects). Words alone cannot solve the problem, for there still must be some way of knowing what action and where it is to be done. This requires a convention of highlighting, or outlining, or depiction of an actionable object. It is also well known that single word labels fail for most people. Thus, road signs often use graphics - an international standard on road sign graphics exists. Alas, most people do not understand those standards. It is also the case that words are understood more quickly than graphics, even a well known, understood graphic. Words plus graphics are even more readily understood. Follow a coherent conceptual model so that once part of the interface is learned, the same principles apply to other parts. Coherent conceptual models are valuable and, in my opinion, necessary, but there still remains the bootstrapping problem; how does one learn the model in the first place? By conventions, words, and metaphors. Conclusion Norman forced us to see design as a force, not only in real-world objects, but also on the screen. We are only now starting to see the importance of his advice in e-learning and web design with interfaces which are truly invisible in the sense that that they are easy to use and do not confuse. Bibliography Norman, D. (1986) User Centered System Design Norman, D. (1988) The Psychology of Everyday Things Norman, D. (1992) Turn Signals are the Facial Expressions of Automobiles Norman, D. (1993) Things That Make Us Smart Norman, D. (1994) Defending human attributes in the age of the machine Norman, D. (1998) The Invisible Computer Nielsen Jakob Nielsen has long campaigned for better usability on the internet. Using real usability trials he was, and is, a ferocious critic of excessive and self-absorbed web design. He is highly critical of designers who see the medium as a mere form of expression, rather than performing real acts of communication, and has continually given advice on best practice, based on actual user responses. His book, „Designing Web Usability: The Practice of Simplicity‟ is the best-selling book ever about user interfaces. Consistency A key concept for Nielsen is consistency. Users, he claims, crave for consistency. They expect to learn how to use a website or piece of e-learning, but don‟t expect to worry about the rules changing. The unexpected breaks the user‟s confidence in the system making them feel insecure. Writing for online As readers scan screen text, far more than they scan written text, Nielsen advises counteractive techniques: subheads bulleted lists highlighted keywords short paragraphs the inverted pyramid a simple writing style de-fluffed language devoid of marketese Abuse of Flash animation In his famous „Flash: 99% Bad‟ article, he characterises the presence of Flash as a usability disease. He does not criticise the tool itself, only its tendency to work against usability. Flash makes things unusable for thee main reasons. First it encourages design abuse through gratuitous animation. Since we can make things move, why not make things move? It‟s not that animation has no role to play, only that, on the whole, it‟s a distraction. Interestingly, this was backed up in detailed research by Mayer. Second it reduces the granularity of user control, reverting to presentation type sequences. Flash sequences at the start of websites have become the most indulgent and annoying feature of the web. Third, non-standard interfaces are introduced and not easy to use by users who are used to more common conventions. These usability problems are not inherent in Flash and use of this tool has improved over the last few years. However, much Flash design continues to encourage these types of abuse. Accessibility Nielsen‟s study on Disabled Accessibility: The Pragmatic Approach, showed that accessibility problems should come as no surprise. „After all, countless usability studies of websites and intranets have documented severe usability problems, low success rates, and sub-optimal user performance, even when testing users with no disabilities.‟ In general, improving accessibility improves usability, which in turn improves performance, leading to cost benefits and savings. The value of Jakob Nielsen‟s prioritised approach is that he has undertaken real accessibility trials of websites with users with several different types of disabilities on a range of assistive technologies, including a control group. His conclusions could be said to run against the grain, in that he recommends a pragmatic, gradual approach to making existing websites accessible. His advice is to get your top priorities fixed first through a set of prioritised design rules. His argument is that pushing for too much too soon, will create overload and in reality, if the choice is between 100% compliance and nothing, many will do nothing. This makes a great deal of sense. On the other hand, if legislation exists then being a pragmatist is no justification for breaking the law. Conclusion Nielsen is not afraid to challenge those who see the internet as a medium for designers as opposed to users. His user-centred research confirms, time and time again, that real people want simpler, more consistent and less elaborate models and content. His advice, informed as it is by research, is invaluable for e-learning and web designers alike. However, his web site is hopeless! Bibliography Nielsen J. (2001) Homepage Usability: 50 Websites deconstructed Nielsen J. (2000) Designing Web Usablity: The Practice of Simplicity Nielsen J. (2006) International User Interfaces http://www.useit.com/ Jacob‟s home page Krug Steve Krug has had a considerable influence on web design through his best-selling book Don‟t Make me Think. This was a welcome brake on the excesses of text-heavy, over designed, poorly navigable websites. His theory is based on real practice and positive results on real web sites. Krug‟s first law of usability is to strive to make things self-evident or self- explanatory, hence the title „Don‟t Make Me Think‟. Don’t Make Me Think He asks a simple question - "how do we really use the web?" We glance, scan and muddle through. We don‟t read pages, we scan them, choose the first reasonable option, and because we‟re lazy, we meander through content. This is an important point and, if excesses in design are to be avoided, one that has to be understood when designing e-learning and web sites. Writing for the screen True to his belief that screen readers are different from print readers, he has strong view on writing for the screen. Less is more and so he exhorts designers and writers to omit needless words. In his own words, “Half the number of words and half again”. Structure and navigation Taking his lead from newspapers, always an interesting source for screen design, he recommends carefully designed hierarchies and the use of conventions such as shopping carts. This is sound advice. Conventions are more than just objects of convenience, they are part of the grammar of interface design. Designers often refuse to use conventions as they crave creativity and innovation – this, in his view, is rarely useful. Pages should also be broken up into carefully defined areas, clickable areas should be obvious and every attempt made to minimise „noise‟. Following on from Norman and Nielsen, he stresses conventions. Don‟t play fast and loose, make things easy and consistent. He hates navigation that breaks down when you get past the second level. The solution, he thinks, is persistent global navigation at the same position on every page with a home button and tracking. He loves those tabs you get on Amazon. He also makes the useful distinction between sections of content and utilities such as print, search and so on, tackles the issue of wide versus deep hierarchies and the use of breadcrumbs. Design Options Sensitive to the needs of the internet as a medium in itself, he emphasises the importance of the Home page. This leads to reflection on the importance of the „Big Picture‟, namely the essential purpose of the site or e-learning programme. He loves tag lines that capture the essence of a site or web experience along with consistency in navigation. Mission statements he hates as they rarely tell you the real story and usually miss the Big Picture. He also reviles badly designed rollovers, poorly designed pull down menus, unnecessary banner ads and the over promotion of other sites. Krug hates unnecessary noise. Usability testing Krug, like Norman and Nielsen is a strong believer in usability testing. Following Nielsen and Landauer he takes the view that a few good testers and a few iterations are all you need. Forget the large-scale focus groups and massive testing, which suffer from the law of diminishing returns. His practical experience shows that just one, or a few testers early on are more effective than a large number at the end. He recommends evidence gathering with a camcorder and facilitator who asks questions and gives tasks, especially „Get it‟ tasks where you probe the user for their understanding of the point of the experience, how it works and how it is organised. The point of the facilitator is to probe and ask them not only what they‟re looking at but what they‟re thinking. Listen, keep an open mind and take lots of notes. An underlying point, made many years before by Dewey and Heidegger is that technologies work best when they hide themselves in things and tasks. Technology is at its best when it is invisible. This is the consistent theme in all good usability theorists and practitioners. The task of the designer, to make the delivery mechanism as invisible as possible. Conclusion Krug understands the different roles of specialists in design teams and the tensions that arise between them. His solution is to objectify the debate through testing, not with the mythical average user, but with real users. His is a useful, practical and prescriptive approach to good usability through good design. Bibliography Krug S. (2001) Don’t Make me Think http://www.sensible.com/ Krug‟s home page Kirkpatrick Kirkpatrick has for decades been the only game in town in the evaluation of learning taken from his Techniques for evaluation training programmes (1959) and Evaluating training programmes: The four levels (1994). In these he proposed a standard approach to the evaluation of training that has become the de facto standard in the industry. It is a simple and sensible schema but has it stood the test of time? Level Target Evaluation goal Level 1 Training Initial endorsement by participants of the Reaction training Level 2 Learner on course That learning did occur as a result of the Learning training Level 3 Learner on job That learning affected behaviour, or Behaviour performance on the job Level 4 Organisation That the training had the desired results in Results the organisation Reaction At reaction level one asks learners to comment anonymously on the adequacy of the training, the approach and perceived relevance. The goal at this stage is to simply identify glaring problems. It is not, at this stage, to determine whether the training worked. Learning The learning level is more formal, requiring a pre- and post-test. This allows you to identify those who had existing knowledge, as well as those at the end who missed key learning points. It is designed to determine whether the learners actually acquired the identified knowledge and skills. Behaviour At the behavioural level, you attempt to measure the transfer of the learning to the job. This may need a mix of questionnaires and interviews with the learners, their peers and their managers. Observation of the trainee on the job is often necessary. It can include an immediate evaluation after the training and a follow-up after a couple of months. Results The results level looks at improvement in the organisation. This can take the form of a return on investment (ROI) evaluation. The costs, benefits and payback period are fully evaluated in relation to the training deliverables. Level 1 - keep 'em happy Favourable reactions on happy sheets do not guarantee that the learners have learnt anything, so one has to be careful with these results. This data merely measures opinion. Learners can express satisfaction with a learning experience yet might still have failed to learn. For example, they may have enjoyed the experience just because the trainer told good jokes and kept them amused. Conversely, learning can occur and job performance improve, even though the participants thought the training was a waste of time! Learners often learn under duress or through experiences which although difficult at the time, prove to be useful later. This is especially true of learning through mistakes and failure. Too often applied after the damage has been done. The data is gathered but by that time the cost has been incurred. More focus on evaluation prior to delivery, during analysis and design, is more likely to eliminate inefficiencies in learning. Level 2 - Testing, testing Recommends measuring difference between pre- and post-test results but pre-tests are often absent. End-point testing is often crude, often testing the learner‟s short-term memory. With no adequate reinforcement and push into long-term memory, most of the knowledge will be forgotten, even if the learner did pass the post-test. Level 3 - Behave yourself At this level the transfer of learning to actual performance is measured. This is complicated, time consuming and expensive and often requires the buy-in of line managers with no training background, as well as their time and effort. Many people can speak languages and perform tasks without being able to articulate the rules they follow. Conversely, many people can articulate a set of rules well, but perform poorly at putting them into practice. This suggests that ultimately, Level three data should take precedence over Level two data. Level 4 - Does the business Fewer shortcomings. The ultimate justification for spending money on training should be its impact on the business. Measuring training in relation to business outcomes is exceedingly difficult. However, the difficulty of the task should not discourage efforts in this direction. Should you evaluate at all? Of course, it is one thing to critique the Kirkpatrick model, another to come up with a credible alternative. I‟d say apply Occam‟s Razor - minimise the number of entities you need to reach your goal. Put the over-engineered, four-level, Kirkpatrick model to one side as it is costly, disruptive and statistically weak. Focus on one final quantitative and qualitative analysis. The training world adopted this over-engineered rod for its own back. Senior managers don't want all of this superflous data, they want more convincing business arguments. It's the trainers that tell senior management that they need Kirkpatrick, not the other way round. All the evidence points towards Levels three and four being rarely attempted as all of the resource focuses on Levels 1 and 2. It is not necessary to do all four levels. Given the time and resources needed in evaluation better to go straight to Level four. Conclusion I liked Stephen Kerr‟s view, the CLO at GE, then Goldman Sachs - Kirkpatrick asks all the wrong questions, the task is to create the motivation and context for good learning and knowledge sharing, not to treat learning as an auditable commodity. He would literally like to see Kirkpatrick consigned to the bin. The Kirkpatrick model, a piece of dreary and hopelessly over-engineered theory, is over 40 years old, and is badly in need of an overhaul (and not just by Philips adding another Level). Even better, abandon it altogether. Bibliography Kirkpatrick, Donald (1959). Techniques for evaluation training programmes. Kirkpatrick, Donald (1994). Evaluating training programmes: The four levels. Games and learning Games, and in particular computer games, are having a profound effect on the design of e-learning. Compare the huge amount of time children, and increasingly adults, play computer games, to the struggle we have to motivate learners in education and training. There must surely be lessons to be learnt from games in learning. Surely some of the motivational principles, game strategies and design could be put to good use in learning. Marc Prensky stands out as the original evangelist, promoting the idea of digital natives who are tired of the old ways of learning, as opposed to the digital immigrants, who are stuck in the old ways of delivery. James Gee has a more academic approach taking principles from computer gaming and hypothesising on whether they can be used in the design of more motivating and learning experiences. Prensky Mark Presnsky set the pace on the use of games in learning with his evangelistic book Digital Game-Based Learning (2001). Prensky claims that today's trainers and trainees are from totally separate worlds. Sure, learners have a short attention span nowadays - for the old ways of learning! His point is that the old ways are inappropriate for the new generation of learners. Games now infuse the culture with movies of games and games of movies. The powerful argument that underpins the rest of the text is that games are cool, education and training are dull. ‘Digital natives’ versus ‘Digital immigrants’ These terms have become commonplace and Marc has done a great deal to make them common currency in the learning field. Digital natives are those who grew up in a habitat with computers, texting, searching, games consoles and thrashing about in software – the twitch generation. Digital immigrants are those who have had to enter their world and learn about them and their habitat. Digital aliens are those who remain outside of the system. Games and motivation The real power in the book comes from the arguments he gathers on motivation, and using game techniques to improve learning. Games' designers know a lot about motivation. They have to - or their games won't sell. There is, therefore, real mileage in taking game design techniques and using them in learning. His analysis of what makes games tick is exemplary and matched by a similarly strong analysis on learning in relation to simulations. The difficulty, however, is in bringing these two worlds together, and Prensky is not entirely convincing in making these two worlds congruent. Games may not be as widely applicable in education and training as he imagines. Light on the downside As one would expect, and as with any book that takes a single, strong line - traditional learning bad, games good – he is light on arguments against games in learning. These include: violence, gender gaps, distractive elements, disappointment and a whole raft of arguments against the use of games in reflective, higher forms of learning. For example, it is quite difficult to argue that the violence in games has no effect whatsoever on players, then argue that games make great sense for behavioural change. Why has the military spent so much on games, simulations and even a free downloadable game with over a million players if it has no psychological effect? This is a dimension to the 'games in learning' debate that is often underestimated by the games evangelists. Games often have no educational value, and, even worse, can distract, disappoint or even destroy learning. Distraction - if the learning objectives are not congruent with the game objectives you run a real danger of distracting learners from the learning. Learners become obsessed with progress, scores and other non-learning components in the game, to the detriment of the content. Even in real computer games, players will go to enormous lengths to obtain cheats. Disappointment - this is a danger where the learner is set up to experience a game which actually turns out to be a rather weak affair. Children brought up on a diet of blockbuster real-time games are often bored by poorly designed educational games. Destruction - in some cases, games can even destroy learning. This is the argument put forward by Postman. If game-playing induces an expectation that learning must always be an amusing experience, then setting such an expectation risks producing the opposite effect in contexts where amusement is absent. In this way, a games-based approach might undermine other more traditional forms of education and training. Conclusion Many now argue that we should harness the strength of games, while setting their weaknesses to the side. Some also argue that games may turn out a generation with better IQs, better skills, more attuned to technology with a more enlightened learner- centric attitude towards learning than any previous generation. Bibliography Prensky M. (2001) Digital Game-Based Learning http://www.games2learn.com/ Marc‟s home page Gee James Gee, a Professor in the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin, added some academic credibility to the games in learning debate in his book What Videogames Have to Teach us about Literacy and Learning (2003). He has taken 36 principles from games design and applied them to learning. This takes the debate on from the pure evangelism of Prensky to a theoretical plane, where principles can be out to the test. 36 learning principles Gee is a fan of computer games and the book extracts 36 learning principles from game playing to show us that games have much to teach us about learning. In this he succeeds, although many of his principles are debatable. He describes his experiences in learning how to play computer games. As a digital immigrant (entered their world), rather than digital native (brought up in their world), he duly acknowledges that he finds games difficult; but his joy in mastering Deux Ex or Half Life is evident, and this voyage of discovery is accompanied by insightful reflections on their worth as learning experiences. Another strength of the book is his observations on collaboration in games. People who do not play computer games often misunderstand this. They will never have used cheats, walkthroughs, read the magazines and visited game sites. Kids play games together online with people they have never met and engage in a rich community of practice (Gee prefers the term 'affinity group'). By abstracting out his 36 key principles he allows us to see how each can be applied in learning without committing to the full-on 3D virtual environment game. These principles cover learning to learn how to play games, lots of principles around success through failure, as well as exploding the myth that game playing is a solitary, anti- social affair. Semiotics One downside of the analysis is the fact that he‟s a disciple of the semiotic movement. This is the theoretical grounding for many of his 36 principles. However, if you're not a follower of 'semiotic domains' or 'text-internal relationships' you can cluster this stuff under 'media literacy'. Much is made of a new type of visual literacy in the form of symbols, images, video and so on. This is valid to a degree, but falls down somewhat when applied to the business of acquiring the skills of reading or writing, which have standard practices that must be learned in order to function in most professions and, indeed, in everyday life. However, even if you disagree with the sociological theorising, there is still much to gain from this book, as many of his principles stand alone from his semiotic theory. Gee is at least open and honest about his underpinning theory, pointing out that in three major areas 'many disagree with each one and, indeed, all three.' Conclusion He takes the high ground on games, showing us their virtues, but few of their vices. Again, like Prensky in Digital Game-Based Learning (see review below) he's light on counter-arguments. Games may be wonderful, but are still unsuitable for many types of calm, reflective learning. He's also a little short on real recommendations about how games can be practically used in learning, making this a highly theoretical book but low on practical advice. This is an excellent, although altogether different text from David Prensky's Digital Game Based Learning. It is essential reading along with Trigger Happy and Joystick Nation for those who are convinced, or need convincing, that games have much to offer education and training. Bibliography Gee J. (2003). What Videogames Have to Teach us about Literacy and Learning, Palgrave Informal learning Most learning theorists have focused on formal learning along with taxonomies of learning and defined instructional models. In practice, little of our learning across a lifetime is formal. Apart from one major bout of, often forced, formal schooling between the age of 5 and 16, the rest is largely informal. Pre-school is almost wholly informal, tertiary education has minimal face-to-face formal learning and in the workplace research consistently shows that the great majority of learning is informal. Csikszentmihalyi focuses on his concept of „flow‟, or being „in the zone‟ or „in the groove‟ during learning. He is one of the few educational theorists with a well researched concept that actually recommends action on motivation, rather than taxonomies and theories of instruction. Cross asks us to reflect on the obvious, but shocking, fact that almost all of our attention (and spend) goes on the formal side, while the majority of the action is informal. He then asks us to consider the accelerating role of technology in on informal learning through blogs, wikis, open resources, podcasts and many other Web 2.0 tools. He moves us beyond traditional LMS and content model and beyond blended learning to a newer more naturalistic model of learning, based on real behaviour. Cross Jay Cross has been credited with inventing the term e- learning and has been a pioneer in both the practice and theory of technology in learning. After developing the first courses on the hugely successful University of Phoenix he set up the Internet Time Group. A tireless thinker and presenter on learning, he has pushed the learning world to think seriously about workflow and informal learning. His blog is one of the most respected learning blogs on the web, a model of honesty and authenticity. Workflow learning Workflow learning ties learning into the actual workflow within an organisation. According to Cross it takes us beyond just Electronic Performance Support Systems (EPSS) to support and on-demand services that are designed to exist within the real tasks we do in our everyday work. Informal learning Out of this work on workflow learning came an even wider and what he regards as more important set of reflections. Cross has recently moved towards reflection on informal learning. Averse to detailed semantic analysis, he compares the difference between formal and informal learning to the difference between taking a trip on a bus and driving your car. In the former, you‟re on a set route and not in the driving seat, in the latter you go where you want, when you want and on the route you choose. His reflections on the failure of training to really recognise informal learning is well represented in his oft-used „spending paradox‟ slide. Formal Informal Spending Learning His reflections on the failure of training to really recognise informal learning is illustrated here. Why do we spend almost all of our budgets on formal learning when we know that most learning is informal? The problem, so stated, is not to pit formal against informal e-learning, but simply a matter of redressing the balance. He invites us to think about learning in a more naturalistic way, seeing learners as real people in real organisations who use real tools in real networks. Blogs, wikis, podcasts, syndication, peer-to-peer sharing, aggregators, Web 2.0, tagging, mash-ups and personal knowledge management are all emergent phenomena, unlike the top- down tools and content that traditional e-learning has provided. When we look at the internet we see powerful tools and techniques emerge through genuine use. It is these, he believes, that point us towards success in learning. Conclusion Cross has contributed much to the development of new ideas in e-learning, especially in his push to get workflow and informal learning recognised as important features of the learning landscape. More than just the theory, he has actively engaged in debate and widely disseminated his ideas. Bibliography Cross J. (2004). Implementing e-Learning, ASTD Cross J. (2006) Informal Learning, Pfeiffer Jay Cross‟s blog: http://www.internettime.com/wordpress/ Csikszentmihalyi Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi (pronounced chick-sent-me-high- ee), professor of Human Development and Education at the University of Chicago, has contributed a background learning theory that has real implications for the way we see learning in practice. His concept of „flow‟ postulates mental states of optimal performance where we are „in the flow‟. This, he thinks, applies to sport but also many cognitive tasks such as programming, writing and, importantly, learning. He asks us to take the experience of flow into consideration when designing and delivering formal and informal learning. This is a concept of some importance in the design of simulations and online learning. Flow Csikszentmihalyi has gathered huge amounts of data on mental states through spontaneous surveys. A randomly, beeping watch triggers people into reporting how they feel. This has fuelled his research into optimal experiences and ultimately to his core concept „flow‟. Linked to creativity, happiness and satisfaction, he sees „flow‟ as "being completely involved in an activity for its own sake. The ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing jazz. Your whole being is involved, and you're using your skills to the utmost." It is sometimes described as being in the „zone‟ or „groove‟. Intimately linked to recent positive psychology research, he has explored many aspects of flow in practice. For example, his examination of 90 creative people across a wide range of disciplines was explored in in 'Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention' (HarperCollins, 1996). He has also applied his ieas to business and sport. Flow and learning In his essay ‘Thoughts About Education‟ he points to the huge gap in education between the „dismal reality and expectations‟. He sees most research as being misplaced, lacking a focus on motivation. The main problem is not that people can‟t learn, it‟s that they don‟t want to. His focus on intrinsic motivation searches for ways to make learning more enjoyable and satisfying. Again he points to states of consciousness where learners have a flow experience, enjoyable in the sense that it felt like being carried away by a current, like being in a flow. These experiences become intrinsically rewarding and sought after, learners then become hooked, and they become autonomous learners leading to a „lifetime of self-propelled acquisition of knowledge‟. He also notes that a major constraint on people enjoying what they are doing is being conscious of a fear of how they appear to others and what these others might think. This mitigates against theory which pushes group learning or contexts in which the learner may be exposed to the judgements of others. The features one experiences when in the „flow‟ are compete involvement and focus along with a sense of being outside of life. It induces a sense of internal clarity along with an intimate reflective knowledge of your own performance. People often report that they don‟t feel time passing. An important aspect of flow is doing something you know is achievable. You walk the line between being too anxious and being bored (echos of Vygotsky's theory of proximal development). Ultimately this leads to a sense of serenity and intrinsic motivation that pushes you on to experiencing more of this „flow‟ experience. Csikszentmihalyi has worked with Kevin Rathunde comparing Montessori and Traditional Middle Schools in the areas of motivation, quality of experience, and social context. Using Csikszentmihalyi‟s sampling method Montessori students reported a significantly better quality of experience in their academic work than traditional students. Montessori students also perceived their schools as a more positive community for learning, with more opportunities for active, rather than passive, learning. (Note that the founders of Google both went to Montessori schools.) Conclusion Motivation, as an issue was squeezed out of educational theory by behaviourism then a focus on defined cognitive skills. Csikszentmihalyi is one of the few psychologists who have a concrete theory, based on large samples of empirical data, that points towards a solution to this problem. Bibliography Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly (1990). Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. New York: Harper and Row. Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly (1996). Creativity : Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention. New York: Harper Perennial. Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly (1998). Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement With Everyday Life. Basic Books. Internet learning E-learning is more than just courses on the web. In a general sense it is computer mediated learning. In practice, two business behemoths on the web, Google and Amazon, have contributed hugely to the acquisition of knowledge by learners, albeit in very different ways. Millions now routinely use Google services and Amazon to advance their knowledge and learning. Google has become the most important entry point for e-learning, and as Google‟s stated intention is to „organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful‟, Larry Page and Sergei Brin are, by definition, major contributors to the advance of e-learning. Books still matter and millions take delight in ripping open those brown cardboard packages when they arrive by post. Although not strictly direct e-learning, this is access to learning mediated by a computer and Jeff Bezos was the man with the vision. It is interesting to note that all three had very open self-directed early education in Montessori schools. Page and Brin Larry Page and Sergei Brin only met, at Stanford, in 1995, yet their business, Google, has become one of the most significant global businesses of our times. Their search engine has transformed the way we search for information and has changed our very relationship with knowledge, making it a significant contribution to learning. As the world‟s most successful search engine it has become an indispensable tool for learning and research. Education Brin was born in Russia and educated in the US, Page is from Michigan. Like Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Mahatma Gandhi, Sigmund Freud, Buckminster Fuller, Leo Tolstoy, Burtrand Russell, Jean Piaget and Hilary and Bill Clinton before them, they both attended Montessori schools. Indeed, they both credit their Montessori education for much of their success. It was the Montessori experience, they claim, that made them self-directed, allowing them to think for themselves and pursue their real interests. The company floated in 2004 and is run as a triumvirate of Eric Schmidt, Larry Page and Sergei Brin. Google Search and learning Their mathematical approach to search problems at Stanford led to a search engine that ranked sites by popularity. Their scalable model looked at links, so the larger the web became the better their engine became. Famously based on a spelling error (Google should have been Googol), Google's mission is to „organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful‟. Specialist searching of text, images, video, books, academic papers, Universities, news, maps and prices, have given the ordinary user unparalleled access to knowledge stored in different media. It is the speed and efficiency of such search that has accelerated our ability as learners to identify relevant knowledge. Learners of all ages and abilities see the web as a useful source of knowledge. Researchers, from schoolchildren with projects to advanced researchers in educational institutions, often find Google an indispensable tool. Google and digitisation Google‟s work to digitise the contents of some of the word‟s great libraries is also contributing to the storage and dissemination of knowledge. The aim is to make the contents of books (text and images) searchable and available, while being sensitive to the „in and out of print‟ issues along with the „copyright and public domain‟ restrictions. They are looking at millions of books available over and above the existing Google Print program with publishers. This takes Google beyond searching to the creation of online resources for searching. Google Tools and learning Gmail has given users a free email service with substantial amounts of storage. Google Earth is an astonishing global map and satellite image search tool. Blogger provides free blogging software to tens of millions of bloggers. Other tools focus on searching and downloading software. These promise to put even more power I the hands of learners, freeing us from the traditional limitations of libraries and physical „places‟ of learning. Conclusion Page and Brin have created a toolset that has already revolutionised access to knowledge. Their organisation continues to revolutionise learning and to „organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful‟. The scale of this task is enormous and on-going. Few organisations now have the tools and financial muscle to make it possible. It is truly an example of technology making a huge impact on the efficacy of learning. Bibliography Vise, David (2005). The Google Story. Macmillan. Battelle, John (2005), The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture. Nicholas Brealey Publishing Ltd. Bezos Jeff Bezos is the founder of Amazon.com, originally an online bookstore that now sells goods of all descriptions. Amazon‟s contribution to the dissemination of knowledge is considerable. Learning in many contexts, formal and informal, is arguably still driven by books. They still fuel learning in schools, colleges and universities and are a mainstay in the diet of many learners. Books still matter and never before have we had convenient access to so many. Books Online access to books, has given us the ability to search, browse and buy a larger range of books than was ever possible through traditional bookshops, often at cheaper prices. Strangely, far from reducing the number of books bought in bookshops, it seemed to nourish the market. Book clubs have never been more popular and bookshops are selling more books than ever. Personal recommendations Beyond the simple buying (or selling) of books lies the cleverness of the reviews and recommendations. You have access to customer reviews as well as lists of recommended books under specific topics and personal recommendations tailored to your interests. Some argue that this leads to an expansion of reading and interests as the buyer is given breadth and depth of information about the books available that lead to more books being bought. Beyond books Amazon already provides previews in the form of a few pages before you buy. Search Inside the Book has been extended through experiments designed to change our relationship with the printed text. Amazon Pages lets you buy one page at a time, each for a few pence. Amazon Upgrade allows you to buy an online version for a premium on the print version you buy, giving you 24/7 digital access. This gives readers the ability to buy selectively, create text books. Online versions will allow access from any where at any time. These, and other, future developments are likely to change the way books are perceived in the future. They will be less dependent on the limitations of print and paper. Conclusion By providing a fast-loading, easy-to-use, informative, fast-delivery service to book buyers, and now other buyers, they created the largest bookstore in the world, giving reasonably priced access to books no matter where you live. This has changed our whole attitude to books, making many more books available to many more people. In a curious twist of fate, books did not disappear under the digital onslaught but were commoditised through online aggregation and distribution. Chen and Hurley Chad Hurley and Steven Chen are the founders of YouTube, one of the most successful and remarkable websites ever created. Hurley studied Fine Art, Chen Science and Maths. Chen who was born in Taiwan met Chad Hurley when they both worked at eBay‟s PayPal. Three years later they founded YouTube in 2005. It was sold to Google for £1.65 billion in 2006. YouTube YouTube is a huge repository of video clips. It experienced massive growth, not only in the number of videos uploaded but on the number of videos watched. Its staggering success came on the back of word of mouth and word of mouse recommendations, starting with Saturday Night Live‟s Lazy Sunday clip. After son me legal battles, YouTube is now doing deals to show copyrighted material and many see its promotional power outweighing its lax attitude to copyright infringement. How it works Anyone can upload and share their clips (up to 10 minutes) for free. You can upload in a whole range of video formats which are then converted to Flash Video (.flv) for presentation on the YouTube site. This format is widely compatible. The video clips also have some HTML that allows them to be linked to from blogs and other sites, with an autoplay feature. Education and training possibilities Although set up to share entertainment, often funny and surreal, it now has thousands of education and training clips. YouTube shows that searchable repositories need not be confined to learning objects. Its mass appeal has allowed it to build and support a service that has a strong brand and a robust infrastructure. It has grown as a bottom-up repository and now contains a huge wealth of useful content in subjects as diverse as language learning, science, medicine and so on. Its power comes from the sheer size of the respository and range of content. Like Wikipedia it is growing exponentially and as more serious content appears, teachers, trainers, lecturers and learners can use this content as a free resource. It may also be influencing the way video appears and is shown on the web. Most of the clips are short, avoiding overlong instructional content and cognitive overload. These short clips are often low on production values but high on creativity and fun. For example, the „askaninja‟ clips show a man in a balaclava and black tee-shirt shout and gesticulate answers to questions such as „What is podcasting?‟ His approach is unorthodox and entertaining. Conclusion YouTube has the advantage of being a powerful global brand. It is shaping the way video is created, distributed and watched on the web. It has the potential to act as a vast education and training resource of free content, lowering costs for e-learning. Internet Content The web has produced lots of tools for learning. Google and other search engines have opened up huge repositories of knowledge. In terms of learning content the web also has its online sources that now contribute directly to learning. These range from full online courses to deep and rich knowledge bases. In a direct challenge to traditional print and classroom courses, online learning is accelerating and there are two outstanding examples, one of courses, the other a knowledge base, where the end- product is proof-enough of their success. James Sperling changed the face of higher education in the US when he built the University of Phoenix. This hugely successful learning organisation had and still has online learning at its core. Sperling bucked the trend and had to fight for years to get this organisation off the ground, and when he succeeded it became a hugely successful business turning him into a billionaire. Jimmy Wales is to be congratulated for producing a truly astonishing online encyclopedia. It is astonishing because it was written, edited and policed by its users, reversing traditional models of publishing. It is the fastest growing and most used single knowledge base on the web and a true example of a radical idea and business model, changing the very idea of how knowledge is created and distributed. Sperling John Sperling is the billionaire founder of the University of Phoenix in 1973, one of the most successful private educational organisations in the world, built on a novel mixture of e-learning and traditional course delivery. Long before the internet matured Sperling spotted the opportunity to learn online and built the systems that fuelled the growth of the University of Phoenix, which had to fight against traditional educational detractors, even to survive. The success of the project in student numbers, output and business terms has all but silenced these sceptics. Education Sperling was born into a poor background, was seriously ill as a child spending six months in bed and dyslexic. He became a seaman, shipyard worker then academic and trade-unionist. Unsatisfied with being a professor at San Hose State University he started to create vocational courses but became disillusioned with the view that a University didn‟t need more students. At this point he decided to jump ship. University of Phoenix The University of Phoenix is the first and largest private university in the US. Its students can do courses entirely online or in a mixture of online and classrooms in one of its 170 local campuses across the US, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico. An enrolment counsellor determines what‟s best for each student. A pioneer of online learning students do individual online courses as well as interacting with other students. Lectures, questions and assignments are delivered via the internet and can be accessed at any time, a need identified for learners who have families or jobs (students are entirely of working adults - minimum age is 23). There‟s also access to online libraries and services. The instructor still leads the process through formative and summative assessment. Longevity research Sperling recently cloned his pet and has been a heavy funder of longevity research. A long time supporter of liberal causes such as the legalisation of cannabis he published Retro V Metro a book on the red/blue divide within American society. Conclusion Sperling is a provocateur, constantly at odds with the establishment views on education and other topics. His principles include; ignoring your detractors, taking bet-the-farm risks, challenging authority and never setting a goal. This unorthodox approach to education and business has broken the mould and has shown that online education works on scale for adults who can‟t conform to traditional timetables and courses. As one of the most successful examples of online learning on the planet Sperling is a true innovator in e-learning. Bibliography Sperling, John (1997). For-profit Higher Education: Developing a World Class Workforce. Transaction Publishers, U.S. Sperling, John (2000). Rebel With a Cause. Transaction Publishers, U.S. Sperling, John (2005). The Great Divide: Retro Vs. Metro America. Polipoint Press. http://www.phoenix.edu/ Wales Jimmy Wales is the founder of Wikipedia and Director of the Wikimedia Foundation. It was philosopher Larry Sanger who first proposed the use of wiki technology to create an encyclopedia in 2001, and Wales created a wiki used for collaborative editing before submission to Nupedia for peer review. Wikipedia then became the dominant force and has grown into the largest and most used wiki on the web, a vast encyclopedia built, edited and policed by its users. Education Wales was educated in a one-room schoolhouse. Although not home-schooling, it was close as he was taught in a class of four by his mother and grandmother, who ran the school. The school was significantly influenced by Montessori methods and he had the freedom to study what he liked on his own terms. "Education was always a passion in my household ... you know, the very traditional approach to knowledge and learning and establishing that as a base for a good life." There are parallels with the Montessori schooling of Larry Page and Sergie Brin, who conceived and founded Google. Wikipedia Wikipedia is a huge knowledge base, or encyclopedia, that has been created by its users, who can publish and amend without having to download special software. Other users, who correct errors, oversee the accuracy of the content. Since founded in 2001 it has grown into one of the largest and most used knowledge sources in the world. With millions of articles in over 200 languages, tens of thousands of registered users and thousands of articles added every day; it is one of the most visited sites on the web. There has been some debate about the reliability of Wikipedia but a blind-trial research project published in Nature in 2005 found little significant difference between it and the Encylopedia Britannica. Its dynamic nature with thousands of new articles appearing every day, along with search capability, links, edit trails and discussion groups makes it a very different type of resource when compared to print periodicals. Wales philosophy to knowledge capture and sharing is what he describes as anti- credentialist, “To me the key thing is getting it right. And if a person's really smart and they're doing fantastic work, I don't care if they're a high school kid or a Harvard professor; it's the work that matters.... You can't coast on your credentials on Wikipedia.... You have to enter the marketplace of ideas and engage with people." Wikis The web now has a plethora of wiki applications including; wikidictionary, wikinews, wikibooks, wikilaw, yellowiki and so on. In addition, wiki technology is being used to revolutionise the way in which we capture, create, publish and update knowledge within organisations. Wikis are becoming common within corporations as a method of knowledge management. Their bottom-up ethos appeals to those who see knowledge emerging from expertise within an organisation, as opposed to being handed down from single authorities. Conclusion Wales has reversed the traditional publishing model of expert writes, everyone else pays. In Wikipedia, everyone writes and no one pays. This is a radical shift in publishing and a radical shift in the way knowledge is being made available on the web, and elsewhere. It is truly one of the modern wonders of the web.
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